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Royal visit



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FOR PPRESS:

C8Y

P. M. No. 4i/1c6 3

ROYAL VISIT

Statement by the Prime Minister, Mr. John Gorton

The Duke of Edinburgh, who is coming to Australia in May primarily to attend "H. R. 1. The Duke of Edinburgh's Third Commonwealth Study Conference", has accepted an itinerary which will take in visits to Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and

Melbourne.

The visit will begin with a ceremonial arrival in Canberra on Saturday 11 May and end on departure from Melbourne on Tuesday 4 June. It also provides for private weekends to be spent in Northern New South Wales before and after The Duke of Edinburgh's

visit to New Zealand.

The Duke of Edinb urgh plans to travel from London to Australia in an Andover from The Gueen's Flight and to use it for all internal air journeys. It will also be used for the Tasman crossings when His Royal Highness visits New Zealand '2 , to 24

May? and for the return journey to Britain.

On the outward Journey the Andover, after landing at Darwin on Friday 10 May to-refuel, will go on to Mt. Isa where The Duke of Edinburgh will remain overnight. He will leave Mt. Isa on the following morning to arrive at Canberra at 12.30 p. m.

On the homeward journey, His Royal Highness will travel in the Andover from Melbourne via Alice Springs 'a refueling stop? to Darwin' and stay overnight. On the morning of Wednesday 5 June His Poyal Highness will leave Darwin en route for London.

The itinerary in outline form is attached.

For Canberra on the first occasion, no formal. programme Is planned for The Duke of Edinburgh. But His Royal Highness has accepted the following programme of engagements on his return to Canberra from Sydney:-

THURSDAY 16 MAY

Morning Attends the First Session of the Canberra

Meetings of the Third Commonwealth Study conference

Lunch With the National Press Club

Afternoon Chens the Forestry School's new building

at the Australian National University

Later Attends a eception given by the Government to Study Conference participants .'Senators and Members invited)

Dinner At Government House

.../2

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Morning Opens the Annual Conference of the Royal

Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia

Lunch With the Canberra Polo Club

Afternoon His Royal Highness plays polo

Later Attends a Reception at Government House

for Study Conference participants

Evening Dines at the Lodge

SATURDAY 1 G MAY

Morning Departs for private weekend in the

Quirindi district

This will be for The Duke of Edinburgh, the seventh occasion on which he has visited Australia and the Australian people with their very happy recollections of his earlier visits, will welcome his return for The Third Commonwealth Study Conference of which

he is President.

The itinerary which His Royal Highness has been pleased to undertake, Includes time in most of the Capital Cities and the programme of engagements provides opportunities for a great many citizens in each place to see him. While it would be

disappointing to some that His Royal Highness is not visiting all States, it would be well accepted that The Duke of Edinburgh is not coming to Australia for the purpose of making a nation-wide tour but for a specific purpose.

I am pleased indeed that it has been possible to offer His Royal Highness in the course of his visit, 'two private weekends relaxing in the Australian countryside free from official functions.

NOTE:

The Premiers of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia will each announce the programme of engagements for the visits to their respective States.

CANBERRA 27 March 1^6C