Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle will snub Bathurst during their Australian visit in October and instead pay a royal visit to Dubbo.
Kensington Palace released the official itinerary on Monday, revealing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will touch down in Sydney on Tuesday, October 16 before heading to Dubbo a day later.
The statement said their Royal Highnesses have been invited to visit the Commonwealth Realms of Australia and New Zealand by the countries’ respective governments.
The Duke and Duchess will also 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.
The visit is a massive coup for Dubbo after the city beat other regional centres, including Bathurst, for the chance to host the royal couple.
Bathurst had been included on a short list of centres vying for a royal visit following strong lobbying from local member Paul Toole.
But Mr Toole said he received the bad news they would not be coming here in a text from Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday evening.
“I’m disappointed because I was really hoping the Duke and Duchess would come to Bathurst which would have been an absolute coup for the region,” he said.
“But at least they’re coming to the Central West and I can live with it being just a couple of hours up the road.
“We can get a couple of buses together and head out there to be part of it all.”
Delighted I will get the chance to meet again and host HRH Prince Harry Duke of Sussex and HRH Meghan Duchess of Sussex during their Australian visit in my home town @DubboCity. I was privileged to host HRH Prince Charles Princen of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell in 2016. pic.twitter.com/mNfNliY9oM— Troy Grant (@troygrant) September 10, 2018
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was looking forward to welcoming Their Royal Highnesses to Sydney.
“We are delighted that their Royal Highnesses are coming to NSW and I look forward to welcoming them, as well as both national and international competitors, families, friends and fans to Sydney next month,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I am also pleased to announce that the tour includes a visit to Dubbo, where the Duke and Duchess will experience first-hand the community spirit of regional NSW.”
Further details about the tour will be released at a later date.
Delighted that their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are coming to NSW as part of their first official Australian tour. This will include hosting @InvictusSydney and visiting regional NSW. Looking forward to welcoming them. pic.twitter.com/XxqxmP531n— Gladys Berejiklian (@GladysB) September 10, 2018
We might not have NRL games here but we’ve bloody got Harry and Meghan coming to Dubbo. October 17, look out. Start prettying up the animals at the zoo, stat!— Nick Guthrie (@Nj_Guthrie) September 10, 2018