The Prince and Princess of Wales are scheduled for their inaugural official journey to Italy. It is set to take place in early 2024, with plans to explore the attractions of Rome, among other events.
The Royals’ trip, organised on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to foster bilateral relations between the United Kingdom and Italy, represents their first hosted visit by Italy since the passing of Queen Elizabeth II
While the itinerary may encompass meetings and state events, a visit to the Vatican, usually requiring meticulous scheduling due to the Pope’s busy agenda, is unlikely.
Although the trip is still in the early planning stages and awaits confirmation, a spokesperson for Kensington Palace expressed anticipation in revealing the travel plans of the royal couple at an appropriate time. This marks a return to joint official tours for the Prince and Princess, as their last collaborative representation for the UK abroad was a Caribbean trip in March 2022.
Following in family footsteps
The Prince and Princess of Wales will follow in the footsteps of Prince William’s father and grandmother, with Queen Elizabeth having made five trips to Italy. The last visit by King and Queen in 2017 included a cordial meeting with Pope Francis, and contributed to European-UK relations during a “Brexit tour.”
The upcoming trip to Italy is expected to showcase the Princess’s expertise in the history of art, exploring the country’s galleries, museums, and architecture. Catherine studied art in Florence during her gap year.
Beyond formal engagements, the itinerary will likely include indulging in Italy’s renowned food and wine.
The timing coincides with the close relationship developed between Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, particularly on immigration policy, as they collaborate to address the growing challenge of illegal immigration in the coming months.