The Duke and Duchess stepped out hand-in-hand to greet locals in Cape Town, South Africa.

By PEOPLE
September 23, 2019
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are kicking off their royal tour in Africa!

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who are also traveling with 4-month-old son Archie, started their 10-day tour with an outing in Cape Town, South Africa. The couple were spotted earlier in the day leaving their plane with baby Archie in Meghan's arms.

The royal couple, who left Archie with a nanny ahead of their first tour stop, received a vibrant welcome from locals upon their arrival to the Nyanga township, where they are taking in a workshop run by an NGO called Justice Desk, which teaches children about their rights, self-awareness and safety. The program also teaches self-defense classes and female empowerment training to young girls in the community. The NGO is supported by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, of which Harry is president and Meghan is vice-president.

Meghan wore a black-and-white print maxi wrap dress by Myamiko (a fair trade brand from Malawi, one of the countries Harry will visit during the tour!) with black Castañer wedges for the outing. She and Harry hugged children and danced to music being played as they walked into Nyanga Methodist Church. And just as they did during their royal tour Down Under last year, the royal couple held hands and lovingly put their hands on each other's backs as they moved through the event.

Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Debut New Photos from Their 2017 Trip to Botswana—the Place They Fell in Love

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During their visit (Meghan's first to South Africa!), the couple also gave a speech.

"And just on one personal note, while I'm here with my husband as a member of the royal family. I want you to know, I am here with you as a mother, a wife, as a woman, as a woman of color, and as your sister," Meghan said as she addressed the enthusiastic crowd.

As Harry gave his remarks he said, "I wanted to ensure that our first visit as a family, with my wife by my side, focused on the significant challenges facing millions of South Africans, while acknowledging the hope we feel so strongly here."

"No man is born to cause harm to women. This is learned behavior and we need to break that cycle," he added. "My role is to defend my wife and be a positive role model for my son."

Related: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Baby Archie Just Announced Their First Royal Tour as a Family

Later in the day, they will visit the District Six Museum, which is located in the inner-city residential area in Cape Town which was subject to the forced relocation of 60,000 inhabitants of various races during Apartheid in the 1970s. Harry and Meghan will tour the museum to learn about the history of the area and will meet former residents.

They will cap off day one of the tour with a visit to the Homecoming Centre, an annex of the District Six Museum which was built to provide former residents with a meeting place to share memories and cook together. Harry and Meghan will take part in a cooking activity to showcase varied cuisines that demonstrate the cultural diversity of the area.

Meghan and Harry will spend a few days touring Cape Town before Harry heads north to Botswana, Angola and Malawi. He will then rejoin Meghan and Archie in Johannesburg later in the tour.

Harry said he "couldn't wait" to introduce his wife and son to South Africa ahead of the tour.

Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Shared New Details About Their Upcoming Family Trip to Africa

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The couple's visit will "not only will this visit serve as an opportunity for the Duke and Duchess to highlight many of the causes they have been involved with for many years, it will demonstrate a modern UK-Africa partnership in action," said their private secretary, Samantha Cohen.

"The Duke of Sussex's love for Africa is well known; he first visited the continent at the age of 13 and more than two decades later, the people, culture, wildlife and resilient communities continue to inspire and motivate him every day," she added.

"As Her Majesty's Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, the Duke now has a platform to be able to support young people across Africa in reaching their full potential."

"Through her Patronages, The Duchess will be working with organizations to promote women's education, health, entrepreneurship and leadership," Cohen continued. "The Duchess of Sussex is particularly looking forward to the opportunity to learn from inspirational women in the region."

This story originally appeared on People.com by Simon Perry and Erin Hill.

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