Just days after attending one of her best friend‘s weddings, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have touched down in South Africa. It’s not the first time they have visited the continent together, but it is the first time they are bringing a very special guest: the nearly five-month-old baby Archie.
All the way back in June, the royal family announced via Instagram that the Duke and Duchess would begin their first royal tour with Archie in Africa. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office requested that they visit South Africa, which they have just begun. They will also visit Malawi and Angola together, while Prince Harry will likely do a short visit to Botswana on his own before heading to other countries.
This time around, their 10-day tour begins in Cape Town. However, they did leave the baby with a nanny before their first official stop, which involved speaking with people in Nyanga township who run Justice Desk, a NGO that specializes in teaching children about their rights and safety, as well as teaching self-defense classes to young women and girls. Per People, both Prince Harry and Markle gave remarks before joining in on a dance with some members of the crowd. “We are so incredibly grateful to be able to listen and learn from you about the issues that define your daily lives in these communities. And that’s what this is, a community. A community where men and women have a vital role to play. Touching on what your President said last week—no man is born to cause harm to women, this is learned behavior, and a cycle that needs to be broken,” the Duke said, before adding, “To me, the real testament of your strength isn’t physical, it’s what’s up here and what’s in here. Your strength is in your spirit, which for me means honoring and protecting my wife, and being a positive role model for my son.”
Markle also leaned into the personal, by mentioning her husband and son in her speech to the crowd. “And just on one personal note, may I just say that while I am here with my husband as a member of the royal family, I want you to know that for me I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of color and as your sister,” she said. “I am here with you and I am here for you and I thank you so much for showing my husband and I the spirit of Ubuntu and I look forward to our time over the next few days together.”
In 2017, Markle celebrated her birthday in the country with Prince Harry, and has worked on raising awareness about endangered elephants. A year before that, just before they announced their engagement, Prince Harry says he “convinced” Markle to come with him to Botswana for one of his work trips. “We camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic. So then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to know each other,” he said.
Perhaps before the royal family moves on to the next stop in their tour, they’ll bring Archie along for the photo opportunities.