Why Charles might soon be the first ever King to visit Australia

King Charles pictured at a Royal engagement.
King Charles III could become the first reigning British King to visit Australia. Credit: PA

A Royal tour is being planned in Australia to coincide with celebrations for the country’s first parliament.

It’s been earmarked for October 2024 and should the tour be conducted by King Charles and the Queen Consort, it would be the first time a reigning King has ever stepped foot on Australian soil.

The claim has been made in a programme of events released by New South Wales Legislative Council, which said a “much-anticipated Royal visit in 2024” promises to be “a highlight”.

Buckingham Palace won’t be drawn on the plans and is still in the process of working out which senior royals will go where in the coming months and years.

The itinerary is having to be redrawn following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Whilst the late Queen went to Australia many times as Monarch, none of her male predecessors managed to get to the country.

Her father King George VI did visit in 1926, but when he was the Duke of York.

And her uncle, Edward VIII, visited Australia in 1920 when he was the Prince of Wales.

Meanwhile, her grandfather toured the country in 1901 when he was the Heir to the Throne, after his father had to cancel following the death of Queen Victoria.

Queen Elizabeth II first visited as Queen of Australia in 1954 and called the New South Wales Parliament “Australia’s ‘Mother Parliament’”.

Unveiling the plans for its Bicentenary, the President of the NSW Legislative Council, Matthew Mason-Cox, called the establishment of the parliament “Australia’s magical Magna Carta moment” and said the celebrations would include “a much-anticipated Royal tour in 2024”.

But many are hoping the new Prince and Princess of Wales will make it to Australia before then.

Prior to the Covid pandemic, it was thought William and Kate were planning to visit, following a series of devastating wildfires across Australia in 2019.

Asked by ITV News recently about a possible royal visit, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said there had been “some preliminary discussions about the now Prince and Princess of Wales visiting Australia".

Mr Albanese, who wants to replace the King as head of state and transition to a republic, said William and Kate were welcome to bring their children, even though Prince George had been dubbed the “republican slayer” when he came to Australia with his mum and dad in 2014.

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Despite wanting to become a republic, Mr Albanese is unlikely to call a referendum on the issue before Australia’s next general election.

Asked about the issue following the death of the Queen, the prime minister said it was "a discussion for another time".

The NSW Parliament was formed in 1823 and held its first session in 1824.

Margaret Beasley, the Governor of New South Wales, said the Bicentenary was a moment for Australia to celebrate “its role in our parliamentary democracy”.

And Australia is expecting a senior member of the Royal Family to help them mark the evolution of democracy in the country throughout the last two hundred years.