Page last updated at 12:52 GMT, Monday, 2 November 2009

William to represent Queen in NZ

Prince William at Middle Temple in London on 6 July 2009
William will open the new supreme court building

Prince William will visit New Zealand next year for an official overseas trip representing the Queen.

Clarence House said William would go to Auckland and Wellington for three days in January before an unofficial trip to Australia.

The prince will represent the Queen in New Zealand and open the new supreme court building in Wellington.

William, who is second-in-line to the throne, will be visiting Australia for the first time since he was a child.

The prince, who is 27, last visited New Zealand in 2005 for the British Lions' rugby tour.

During that trip, he represented the Queen at a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of World War II, but this trip will be the first time he has carried out an entire overseas visit carrying out a number of duties on the Queen's behalf.

On his three-day trip to Australia, he will visit Sydney and Melbourne.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said William would use the trip to learn more about issues affecting the nation's Aboriginals and see the countryside near Melbourne, which was ravaged by wildfires earlier this year.

In a statement, he said: "The visit originated from a request to the government of Australia by Prince William to visit the country so as to begin to get to know Australia and its people."

He added that the royal "will have the opportunity to meet a cross-section of Australians involved in a variety of projects of interest".

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