The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to visit New Zealand in 2014 for their first tour with their son, Prince George.
Prince William and Kate will travel to the country at some point next year, and are expected to take the little Prince along for the visit.
Despite 2014 being an election year for New Zealand, Prime Minister John Key has explained there is no reason why the royal trio can’t visit.
“If they come in the election period – it’s generally seen as that period where sort of three months beforehand – then there are sort of rules that apply there,” he told TVNZ’s Breakfast show.
He added: “I think it’s a wonderful thing that they come and I’m a massive supporter of the Royal Family.”
His comments suggest a visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and little George would be in the first half or end of 2014, as the election is tipped to take place between September and November.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister John revealed he had discussed a possible visit with the couple, after visiting The Queen at Balmoral during the summer.
“I know that the Duchess is very keen to come to New Zealand,” he said after the visit. “She hasn’t been before, the Duke’s been on a number of occasions. So hopefully he’ll return some time soon.”
“Yes we discussed with them, obviously they’d be most welcome to pay a visit. Obviously that’s subject to their diary.”
He also spoke fondly of eight-week old Prince George after meeting him: “He’s a very sweet, bonny little baby.”
Since the birth of Prince George in July, rumours have been swirling that the royal trio will travel to Australia and New Zealand next spring.
Prince William and Kate have undertaken two official tours since their wedding in April 2011. The couple visited Canada just three months after the nuptials, and last year they visited South-East Asia to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.