Prince William will visit China and Japan next year

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, visits the Dickson Poon University of Oxford China Centre Building on Sept. 8, 2014, in Oxford, England.

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Kensington Palace officials say Prince William will make an official visit to China and Japan early next year.

Officials said Thursday that William will spend roughly three days in each country. He is expected to travel in late February.

William's wife Kate, who will be eight months pregnant by February, is not expected to accompany him.

The palace says William will begin his trip in Japan where he will promote trade relations and cultural exchanges and also work to combat illegal wildlife trade.

In China he plans to visit Shanghai, Beijing and other cities.

William is the first senior royal to visit China since his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, traveled there with her husband Prince Philip in 1986. This is the William's first time visiting the country.