8 Commonwealth countries you should visit for a slice of history and more – Harpers Bazaar India – Travel India Alone

Phrases by Sue Bryant 

Fifty-four Commonwealth nations marked the event of King Charles III’s coronation. The excitement is constructing from Australia to Antigua as to the place the newly topped King and Queen Consort will go to on their subsequent massive Royal tour. Plans are already underway for what could possibly be the most important ever journey across the Commonwealth since Queen Elizabeth II’s 168-day tour in 1953 and 1954. So, which nations could obtain a go to over the subsequent 12 months or so? Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and South Africa, in addition to a number of Caribbean islands, are all robust contenders and, though particulars are but to be revealed, there’s no time like the current to plan your very personal Commonwealth vacation…


Canada enjoys an extended historical past of Royal visits and a heat relationship with the UK. Actually, Charles and Camilla visited in Could 2022 to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee, visiting Newfoundland, Ottawa and distant Yellowknife within the Northwest Territories. This was the King’s nineteenth go to and the Queen Consort’s fifth. There’s no motive why a repeat shouldn’t be on the playing cards, as Canada is an enormous nation, with distinctive pure magnificence.

Maybe you’d comply with within the footsteps of The Prince and Princess of Wales, then Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who visited Western Canada in 2016 with tiny Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Their tour began in Vancouver, a glossy, cosmopolitan metropolis encircled by water and mountains. Probably the most thrilling methods to get your bearings right here is on a floatplane tour, hovering over lush Stanley Park and Grouse Mountain, in addition to the excessive rises of Downtown.

Soar on the ferry over to a lot quieter Vancouver Island, watching out for pods of orcas from the boat, and discover the dazzling Butchart Gardens. Then head inland over the craggy Canadian Rockies to the mountain resort of Whistler, hemmed in by towering peaks and beautiful at any time of 12 months. Find out about First Nations tradition, gaze on the roaring cascade of close by Shannon Falls, and journey even deeper into the pristine wilderness to Jasper Nationwide Park. That is the placement of Maligne Lake, famed (and far photographed) for its astonishing azure water, and the huge, creaking Athabasca Glacier, which you’ll discover with a glaciologist. Banff Nationwide Park, equally stunning, is the place for climbing, boat rides, epic mountain views and, in case you’re fortunate, bear recognizing.

New Zealand 

King Charles is claimed to be an awesome fan of New Zealand, visiting 10 occasions, most just lately with the then Duchess of Cornwall in 2019, on a tour of Auckland, Waitangi, Christchurch and Kaikōura. Waitangi, in fact, is central to New Zealand’s fashionable historical past. Positioned within the Bay of Islands, a jewel-like archipelago scattered throughout a turquoise sea, that is the place the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 between the Maori and the British Crown, establishing British legislation within the nation.

You possibly can go to Waitangi and different highlights on a cruise of the North and South Islands. Marvel at Milford Sound, the place sheer-sided mountains plunge into the ocean, and the college city of Dunedin, named after the Gaelic phrase for Edinburgh, its streets are lined with elegant Victorian and Edwardian buildings. Christchurch, too, has a distinctly British vibe; right here, you may even punt on the Avon river, though views of the jagged, snow-capped Southern Alps are a agency reminder that you just’re a good distance from residence. Napier, with fairly Artwork Deco structure, is gateway to the vineyards of Hawke’s Bay, in addition to wild coastal surroundings and forested climbing trails. From Tauranga, you’re spoiled for alternative between the geothermal springs and Māori cultural websites round Rotorua, the mysterious glow-worm caves of Waitomo and, for film buffs, the bucolic Hobbiton movie set in Matamata. Cosmopolitan Auckland, in the meantime, deserves a day or two for its galleries, espresso outlets, surf seashores and superb views of crusing boats within the harbour.


The late Queen Elizabeth II had a deep affection for this island, the place she lived briefly as Princess Elizabeth, whereas Philip, then her new husband, served within the Navy. The couple additionally ended their six-month Commonwealth tour in Valletta in 1954 and have been joined by a younger Prince Charles and Princess Anne, each on their first abroad journey.

Her Majesty’s legacy could be seen in every single place—making this craggy, history-packed little island a robust contender for the forthcoming royal tour. Go to flower-filled Higher Barrakka Gardens, on high of Valletta’s ramparts, and search for the tree that the late Queen planted in 2007 to have a good time her sixtieth marriage ceremony anniversary. As you discover Valletta’s slender streets, think about the liberty that Princess Elizabeth loved when she may stroll town alone. Some issues have modified since then; you’ll see celebrity architect Renzo Piano’s dramatic new Metropolis Gate and the brand new Muza, Malta’s nationwide group artwork museum. However others endure; don’t miss St. John’s Co-Cathedral. The spartan facade conceals an opulent, gilded inside, one among its highlights being Caravaggio’s beautiful however grisly canvas of The Beheading Of John The Baptist. 

Go to the serene hilltop city of Mdina and wander the silent streets. Hop on the ferry to sleepy Gozo, the place in 1954, The Queen unveiled the monument of Christ The King in Independence Sq., within the coronary heart of the tiny capital, Victoria. And make time to benefit from the pure fantastic thing about this fascinating archipelago.


New South Wales has already introduced a go to by King Charles III (probably accompanied by The Queen Consort) in October 2024, to coincide with the two hundredth anniversary of the NSW Legislative Council. This would be the first time a reigning king has set foot on Australian soil.

The agenda is but to be revealed however, given Charles’ love of classical music, a efficiency on the beautiful Sydney Opera Home appears seemingly. Camilla is president of commerce affiliation Wines of Nice Britain, so will little doubt be eager to pattern a number of the nice Semillon and Shiraz wines at vineyards in close by Hunter Valley.

With a stunning shoreline and massive skies, New South Wales lends itself superbly to a highway journey. Why not comply with the coast highway all the way in which from Sydney to boho-chic Byron Bay within the far north of the state? That is the spot to observe surfers experience majestic waves, salute the solar at a yoga class, feast on recent seafood at an award-winning restaurant and take a sundown stroll to the lighthouse, which marks continental Australia’s most easterly level.


India is probably the most populous nation within the Commonwealth and Queen Elizabeth II visited 3 times throughout her reign. Actually, one among her most treasured possessions was mentioned to be a handkerchief given to her by Mahatma Gandhi at her marriage ceremony to Philip in 1947.

India was beneath British rule for 200 years and far of that legacy stays—the language, the authorized system, even the fervour for cricket. However go to Rajasthan and also you’ll be swept away on a far deeper historic journey as you stare upon desert forts, beautiful palaces, dazzling bazaars and the rippling dunes of the good Thar desert. Touring is finest as there’s a lot to see and you’ll soak up every thing from Hawa Mahal, the rose-pink Palace of the Winds, within the royal metropolis of Jaipur, to Ranthambore Nationwide Park, the place Royal Bengal tigers roam wild. Throughout the state border in Uttar Pradesh, the Taj Mahal, arguably the best monument to like ever constructed, is crucial, and infinitely extra stunning seen up shut, due to its beautiful inlaid marble, gleaming domes and gardens.

South Africa 

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa was the primary head of state to be hosted by King Charles III when he was welcomed at Buckingham Palace final November. A return go to, then, is definitely on the playing cards. Traditionally, the 2 nations have an extended friendship; the late Queen, for instance, is claimed to have been on first-name phrases with Nelson Mandela. Actually, the younger Princess Elizabeth celebrated her twenty first birthday in South Africa, whereas on tour along with her father, King George VI. The now King and Queen Consort final visited in 2011, with Charles returning alone in 2013 to attend Mandela’s funeral.

The Rainbow Nation encompasses an enormous vary of experiences, from world-class recreation viewing within the nationwide parks to wild, rugged shoreline pounded by each the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Cape City is arguably South Africa’s most stunning metropolis, a cultural melting pot with ravishingly beauty, a thriving culinary scene and the historic Victoria & Alfred waterfront, named after Queen Victoria and her son. Robben Island, the place Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years, is a sobering sight and a captivating go to.

You possibly can go from right here by highway by means of the Cape Winelands and alongside the Backyard Route, 190 miles of untamed, wooded shoreline dotted with fairly cities equivalent to Knysna, famed for its oysters, when in season. No journey to South Africa is full with out visiting one of many recreation reserves, the place you may look out for the Large 5: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and Cape buffalo.


Other than Malta, Cyprus is the one Commonwealth nation in Europe exterior the UK. Britain retains a navy base right here and there’s a detailed relationship between the 2 nations; the truth is, the Princess Royal visited in January and King Charles III and the Queen Consort obtained the Cypriot president and his spouse at Balmoral shortly afterwards.

Ought to the invitation be returned, the Royal couple may discover themselves on this sun-drenched nook of the jap Mediterranean, feasting on luxurious Cypriot meze, sampling fantastic wines grown on the slopes of the Troodos Mountains and touring the island’s antiquities and distant monasteries. The resort city of Paphos is famed for its archaeological websites, the place you may see intricate mosaics that after belonged to 4 Roman villas, and the clifftop Tombs of the Kings, a grand necropolis relationship again to the 4th century BC. And, whereas many individuals come for the seashores and sunshine, the island has an attractive inside, whether or not you’re visiting winegrowers across the hill village of Omodos, close to Limassol, or climbing the slender chasm of the Avakas Gorge close to Paphos looking out for birds and delicate wildflowers.

The Caribbean 

The Commonwealth islands of the Caribbean have a long-standing legacy of royal visits; William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales, have been the newest, in March 2022, touring Belize, Jamaica and The Bahamas to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee.

In Jamaica, the couple explored the heritage of reggae music. You possibly can do the identical on a day journey to 9 Mile, delivery and burial place of Bob Marley. Or take a tour to see the luxurious inland and forested Blue Mountains. Strive a catamaran cruise, snorkel over coral reefs, drift alongside the Martha Brae River on a bamboo raft, or be a part of a seaside experience at sundown. Keep at Spherical Hill, a former pineapple plantation that’s hosted Hollywood royalty, overlooking a half-moon sweep of silver sand.

Or go on an expensive cruise of a number of the Caribbean Commonwealth nations, waking as much as a unique view day-after-day. Fairly ports of name embody St Lucia, its shoreline outlined by the dual peaks of the volcanic Pitons, or laid-back Grenada, the place the scent of the island’s spices infuses the air. St Vincent and the Grenadines are emerald-green, jungly islands fringed by a number of the most unique seashores within the Caribbean, whereas on St Kitts, as soon as often known as the ‘Gibraltar of the West Indies’, followers of navy historical past might be fascinated by Brimstone Hill, a British-designed Seventeenth-century fortress.

This text first appeared in Good Housekeeping in Could 2023. 

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