Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, to visit Queensland

ROYAL COUPLE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
ROYAL COUPLE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle will visit Australia next month, with a trip to Queensland’s Fraser Island part of their first major royal tour.

A statement from Kensington Palace said their Royal Highnesses had been invited to visit the Commonwealth Realms of Australia and New Zealand by the countries' respective governments.

The Duke and Duchess will visit Fiji and Tonga at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The program across these four Commonwealth countries will focus on youth leadership, environmental and conservation efforts – including the dedication of several new Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy projects – and the recovery and rehabilitation of servicemen and women through the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

It was  confirmed in June that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would visit in October as part of their first major royal tour.

Further details about the tour are yet to be released but it will include Sydney, Melbourne, Dubbo in central NSW and Fraser Island, north of Brisbane.

The newly married royal couple, known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will be in Australia between October 16 and 28.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the visit, which would coincide with the Invictus Games in Sydney, on Monday night.

“Their visit will be an opportunity to promote the incredible achievements of Invictus athletes from around the world, and showcase Australian programs promoting youth leadership, environmental and conservation efforts, and will include a visit to a dedication to the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative on Fraser Island," he said.

“I look forward to welcoming The Duke and The Duchess of Sussex to Australia next month."

Prince Harry was instrumental in creating the Invictus Games, in which injured military veterans compete with each other in a series of sports.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was quick to welcome the upcoming visit to Fraser Island, the date of which had not been confirmed.

“We are honoured and delighted to receive their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and I’m sure many Queenslanders will be excited by the news and will offer a warm Queensland welcome,” she said.

“Queensland has hosted many royal visits over the decades and this will be particularly exciting, as the Duke and the Duchess will be visiting one of our most beautiful and iconic locations.”

Prince Harry's brother, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, visited Queensland in 2014 on his first Australian tour with his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

A young Prince Harry with his horse, Guardsman, during his gap year visit to Queensland in 2003.

The then-19-year-old spent some of his gap year in 2003 at Tooloombilla Station, about 490 kilometres north-west of Brisbane.