Britain’s royal family is to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne by touring the world in 2012, placing an emphasis on Commonwealth nations and countries with close links to Britain. Younger generations of royals will travel abroad to visit the 15 nations that still have Queen Elizabeth II as their head, while the monarch and her husband, Prince Philip, will tour Britain from the end of March to the end of July, Buckingham Palace announced Wednesday. Prince Charles and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, will tour Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea as part of the celebrations. But all eyes are expected to be on Prince William and his wife. Catherine, the former Kate Middleton, who will travel to Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and the tiny South Pacific island of Tuvalu. Royal aides recalled a 1982 visit to Tuvalu by the queen and Prince Philip, when islanders carried them shoulder high — seated in canoes — into the capital Funafuti. Prince Harry, William’s bachelor younger brother, will travel to Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, will visit India and his younger brother, Prince Edward, will tour the Caribbean, while Princess Anne is set to tour Zambia and Mozambique, the announcement said.
Queen Elizabeth II, who came to the throne after the sudden death of her father, King George VI, in February 1952, is to mark her Diamond Jubilee with a range of events, culminating in national celebrations in June. These will include a royal pageant on the river Thames and a church service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.