Prince William will travel to China and Japan next year at the request of his grandmother The Queen's government. The Duke of Cambridge will make the visit without his wife The Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, as she will be roughly six months pregnant with the couple's second baby.
William, 32, will spend about three days in each country, departing in late February and returning home in early March.
The trip will be carried out with the aim of improving diplomatic relations between Britain and the Far East nations, but William will also be championing a cause close to his heart – combating the illegal wildlife trade.
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Prince William will travel to China and Japan solo
Starting in Japan, Prince George's dad will undertake engagements in Tokyo and elsewhere on behalf of the British government, which will be focused on UK-Japan relations, commerce and cultural exchange. He will also carry out duties that reflect his personal interest in fighting the illegal wildlife trade.
William will then move on to China where his one confirmed and publicised engagement will be to officially open the GREAT Festival of Creativity at Shanghai's Long Museum on Monday 2 March.
The festival, part of the GREAT Britain campaign, aims to give over 500 of Britain's most innovative businesses the opportunity to reach potential Chinese partners and demonstrate how British creativity can help businesses innovate and grow. It is part of the bigger picture to promote the Prince's homeland as a wonderful country to visit, study and do business.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh last visited China in 1986
William will also attend events in Beijing and elsewhere to promote UK-China relations, people to people links, and once again, show his support for wildlife conservation.
His visit to China will mark the first time that a senior royal has made the trip there since The Queen and her husband Prince Philip last visited in 1986. Earlier this year in June, Her Majesty received Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his wife Cheng Hang at Windsor.
Prince Charles bid farewell to Hong Kong in 1997, on behalf of The Queen
William's father and first-in-line to the throne Prince Charles has never visited China, however he did attend the official Hong Kong handover ceremony from British to Chinese rule in 1997.
As for Japan, The Queen and her husband last visited in May 1975, while Charles and Camilla travelled there more recently in 2008.