Prince William is to take another step close to becoming future king. 27-year-old Prince William will officially represents the Queen for the first time on a visit to New Zealand.
Prince William will take Queen’s place at the opening of the new Supreme Court in Wellington in January 17 and 19 2010 and conduct a series of engagements in the country, before travelling to Australia for a whirlwind two-day tour.
The 27-year-old prince hopes his trip will also help to cement the Royal Family’s close links with the two Commonwealth countries, where the Queen’s position as head of state is being threatened by a growing republican movement.
The first part of the trip will be paid for by the New Zealand government. However his subsequent sojourn to Australia where William will carry out a series of engagements in and around Sydney and Melbourne from January 19 to 21 will be privately funded by the Queen as it is not classed as an official visit.
The monarch is acutely aware of public concern over the cost of the monarchy and earlier this year funded Prince Harry’s highly-publicised charity trip to New York in much the same way.