Prince William and Kate Middleton to Prince Charles and Princess Diana: 3 Couples on Their First Royal Tours

For working royals or those who make it their full-time jobs to serve Queen Elizabeth II and the monarchy, royal tours are something they know very well. Often with jam-packed schedules and lots of public appearances, royal tours can be both exhausting and exciting. On one hand, royals might be meeting members of the British Commonwealth but, on the other hand, nearly their every move is captured on camera or video and scrutinized by the press. 

For newlywed couples, their first royal tour is a chance for the world to get to know them better following their wedding. It’s also a time for the couple to highlight the causes they want to champion in their roles. Not only that but the couples get a taste of what’s to come; more royal tours. 

Princess Diana and Prince Charles in Canada on their first overseas royal tour
Princess Diana and Prince Charles | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Tours typically happen a few months after royal wedding

Traditionally, couples have a transition period before they fully immerse themselves in royal life complete with traveling and royal tours. After a royal wedding, couples are usually eased into the process. That means attending a few engagements to get used to the spotlight. From there, official visits ramp up in the lead up to a big royal tour. While it may vary couple to couple, most newlywed working royals have followed a similar timeline.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana went to Wales on their first royal tour

On their first royal tour as a married couple in October 1981, nearly three months after their royal wedding on July 29, 1981, Princess Diana and Charles, Prince of Wales embarked on a three-day royal tour of Wales, according to the British royal family’s website.

They went on a traditional walkabout where they greeted well-wishers. 

Prince Charles and Princess Diana during a walkabout in Wales, 1981
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Clearly, all eyes were on them.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana in exiting a car in Wales
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images

Here they are standing outside Caernarfon Castle

Princess Diana and Prince Charles in Wales, 1981
Prince Charles and Princess Diana | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

While everything appeared to go smoothly for the couple in Wales, things didn’t go well for them on their first overseas royal tour in 1983 when a photographer saw Diana “burst into tears.” 

A little more than a decade after their first royal tour, Charles and Diana didn’t want to be forced together on an official outing if they could help it. According to royal biographers, with the state of their marriage in shambles, the queen had to force Diana and Charles to go on a royal tour of Korea in 1992. It ended up being their last before news of their separation went public in December of the same year. 

Kate Middleton and Prince William went to Canada and the U.S. in 2011

After their royal wedding on April 29, 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge headed to Canada as part of their North American tour, according to Hello. It marked the couple’s first overseas royal tour together. 

They weren’t afraid of a public display of affection, something they typically shy away from because they’re technically working.

Kate Middleton and Prince William put their arms around each other
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Samir Hussein / Contributor

The newlyweds wore matching sweatshirts. 

Kate Middleton and Prince William in Canada wearing matching sweatshirts
Kate Middleton and Prince William | Arthur Edwards – Pool/GettyImages

And they were all smiles nearly the entire trip.

Prince William and Kate Middleton in Canada
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Having been married for nine years, the couple has been on many royal tours since. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle first royal tour lasted 16 days

On their first royal tour following their wedding in May 2018, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand over the course of 16 days, according to Marie Claire. On the tour that kicked off in October 2018, the couple announced they were expecting their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, and completed 76 engagements. 

They visited Tonga. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave the airport after arriving in Tonga
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Australia | Phil Noble – Pool/Getty Images

And went for a walk in New Zealand’s Redwood Forest.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry walk in the Redwood Forest
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Australia | Kirsty Wigglesworth – Pool/Getty Images

And sat on the beach in Australia. 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on a beach in Australia
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images

Here’s hoping for more royal tours soon!