Royals face ‘trickiest issue’ as they rethink tours to avoid colonial optics

Key members of the royal family are gearing up for two years of worldwide tours in a bid "to keep Commonwealth intact" in a "soft democracy" blitz.

While they will be aided by the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and the Princess Royal, is understood that the King and Queen will prioritise visits to key nations such as Australia, New Zealand and a number of Commonwealth realms in the Caribbean.

Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond said the royal family will want to play a key role in the planning of the upcoming trips to avoid criticism and make them more "meaningful".

Speaking to OK!, Jennie said, "Given the prevailing mood amongst many of the Commonwealth realms to ditch the monarchy, royal tours are going to be one the trickiest issues facing the Royal Family."

Jennie continued: "Maintaining links with the Commonwealth is going to be a priority for Charles. A lot of thought needs to go into how these tours are presented – no one will want a repeat of the recent Caribbean tours.

"The optics have got to be right, William especially will want things to look and feel different.

"I think he will want to be involved with the detail of tours, making sure there are no colonial vestiges and that tours are more meaningful, not set in the old, tried and tested routines."

As well as the Prince and Princess of Wales taking on supporting roles for the plans, Jennie notes that the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh will have a keen part to play.

"As senior royals, Edward and Sophie will also be taking on some tours where they will be working together in friendship and a spirit of cooperation for the greater good.

"They will also want their itineraries to be carefully mapped out to be more modern and in touch – accepting Republican feelings in various realms whilst making them feel valued as members of a Commonwealth."

Since his accession, the King has only made one state visit to Germany in March. He was due to visit France at the same time, but this was called off after the riots. This is now thought to have been rescheduled for later this year.

As well as this, the King is expected to visit Samoa when it hosts the annual Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. Also on the agenda is a reported trip to Kenya, according to The Mail on Sunday.

Even though Kenya does not recognise the monarch as head of state it is thought to be an important part of the Commonwealth and was famously where Princess Elizabeth was in 1952 when she found out she had succeeded her father, King George VI.

One visit that is already in the diary for Prince William and Kate is to Singapore in the autumn for the third annual Earthshot Prize Awards ceremony.

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