William and Kate cancel New Zealand trip over general elections

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have reportedly dropped plans to attend the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand later this year.

Kate and William were planning to head to New Zealand in October an had made arrangements to travel to Australia afterwards - but have changed plans because they don't want to be involved in a political row.

New Zealand is due to hold their general election in November and Prime Minister John Key, leader of the conservative National Party, has been accused by the opposition of trying to use the visit boost his popularity.

According to the Daily Mail, a royal source confirmed the trip had been cancelled, saying: 'You can't really go to Australia without going to New Zealand so it's all been put on hold.'

Traditionally the Royal family have chosen not to visit Commonwealth countries during general elections because they don't want to be seen showing favour to one party

Mr Key, who attended Prince William's wedding to Kate in April, said the Duchess had told him she was keen to visit New Zealand.

According to the Daily Express, he said: 'The first thing Kate said was she wants to visit New Zealand. She's keen to come down and we'll hopefully encourage her to come and visit us sometime very soon, so that was great.'

But the trip has now been cancelled and their only overseas trip will start next Thursday, when they'll visit Canada and California.

The Duke and Duchess may rearrange their tour of New Zealand and Australian visit for next year when other members of the Royal family, including Prince Harry, will be sent to Commonwealth countries as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

What will Will and Kate be doing in Canada? Click on the image below to see just some of the highlights...
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Canada

It's Ottawa's biggest attraction and the place where Kate and William will be celebrating Canada on 1 July. Parliament Hill is home to Canada's federal government and the Parliament Buildings overlook the Ottawa River on a dramatic hill. Each morning in the summer, the changing of the guards ceremony takes place on the front lawn and in the evening the spectacular Sound and Lights Show takes place, with lighting and giant images projected on the Parliament Buildings for all to enjoy.

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This beautiful park covers a vast space of 361 square kilometres. It's where you'll find a lot of Ottawa's nature, with hundreds of species of birds and mammals. Cycling, swimming and hiking are just some of the ways to get active in Gatineau Park and in the summer a romantic picnic with forest and lakes as your background is just what a couple of newlyweds need.

Canada

There's nothing dreamier than walking hand-in-hand with the person you love along a historic canal in the summer. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Rideau Canal is the oldest operating canal in North America (it opened in 1832). It stretches from Ottawa to Lake Ontario, connecting lakes and rivers through 45 locks. The scenic pathways are perfect for keen walkers and cyclists, and in the summer you can take to the waters in a sightseeing cruise, canoe or romantic paddleboat.

Canada

Just east of Parliament Hill is the not-to-be-missed ByWard Market with a historic famers' market, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. You can people-watch at an outdoor café in the summer, buy fresh, local produce to take home as souvenirs and get something for yourselves at the many fashion and décor boutiques. Keen foodies can look forward to casual and upscale restaurants for dining before rubbing shoulders with Ottawa's elite at a cocktail bar or listening to some live music.

Canada

The Ottawa River defines the border of Ontario and Quebec and is huge at 1,271km long. It's the ideal place for a canoe trip and if Kate and William are looking for an adventure they can try white water rafting on the Rouge River, which is just one of the many rivers that empty into the Ottawa River. To capture some good photos of the River head to the Macdonald-Cartier, Alexandra or Portage Bridges.

Canada

This is a must-see to make a trip to Canada truly memorable and the royal couple should definitely see Niagara Falls. As the most powerful waterfall in North America, its outstanding natural beauty really is something you have to see to believe. Walk along the side of the roaring Falls where you can see the mist and as you get closer watch how the water travels from the river before going over the edge. There are boat trips available at the foot of the waterworks and you'll want to bring waterproof clothing if you're planning on getting close to the Falls. At night the they're lit up so it looks just as spectacular in the dark.

Canada

As the second tallest tower in the world (the first is in Dubai) the CN Tower is the place to go for good views of the vibrant city of Toronto. At the top is the 360 Restraurant is the ideal place for a romantic dinner and offers a revolving view of Toronto with amazing market-fresh cuisine and wine from the world's highest cellar! If heights are your thing you can gaze 342 metres down from the glass floor at the top of the tower.

Canada

Ottawa is just on the edge of Quebec, where Kate and William will also be visiting, and can make for a great trip to see North America's answer to France. Montreal is Quebec's largest city and is where old meets new with vibrant culture, a range of festivals and more museums than you can fit in one trip. See the Cirque du Soleil in the city it originated from, visit the Old Port and see the amazing Olympic Stadium, as well as enjoying a city with great restaurants and nightlife.

Canada

The Northwest Territories are on the agenda for Kate and William's visit, - and it's the place to see the Northern Lights. They're best viewed in winter so the couple may miss out on them while in Canada, but they're a must-see. Watch the ghostly coloured lights in the sky from a cosy log cabin, outdoor hot tub or tent as you cuddle up to your loved one under the stars. See our video for more.

Canada

The royal couple will be stopping in Alberta in western Canada and will want to see some of its awe-inspiring attractions. The Alberta Rocky Mountain area is like no other place on earth and where you'll find Lake Louise, a picturesque turquoise lake with plenty of nature, some of the best hotels, like the Fairmont, which gets booked up months in advance, as well as some of Canada's grizzly bears.

Canada