Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Shared New Details About Their Upcoming Family Trip to Africa
The couple's first royal tour post-baby will begin on September 23rd.
The family of three will arrive in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sept. 23. The first scheduled stop is the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's visit to a township. They will leave little Archie—who was born on May 6—with his nanny as they start the official first leg of the tour.
"The couple hopes to be able to include Archie at some point in the program, but it is difficult to schedule because he is 5 months old," a royal source says.
A source pointed out that while Prince William and Kate Middleton took son Prince George with them on an official tour to New Zealand and Australia when he was around 9 months old, the circumstances are different for Archie.
At a briefing at Buckingham Palace on Friday morning, the couple's private secretary Samantha Cohen told reporters that "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."
"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."
The tour will mark Meghan's first visit to South Africa.
The couple is taking an entourage of 13, including a nanny and hairdresser who are both paid for privately. They are also paying for their new private secretary Fiona Mcilwham to come for part of the trip to get more acquainted with her new role.
A key and poignant moment for Harry will be when he travels to Huambo.
"Photographs of the late Princess Diana visiting a de-mining site and meeting mine victims became iconic and powerful images in support of her campaign to create a global mine ban—which came to fruition in the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention that same year. On arrival, His Royal Highness will be met by the Governor of Huambo, Joana Lina, who was also the official host for the late Princess Diana's visit," Cohen said.
Harry will visit the location where his mother was photographed and be shown how an area that was a dangerous minefield in 1997 is now a busy street with schools, shops and houses—a demonstration of the benefits of de-mining. He "will be escorted to the location by a member of the HALO Trust team, Valdemar Gonçalves Fernandes, who was part of the de-mining teams working in the area during Princess Diana's visit. His Royal Highness will meet representatives of all three de-mining organizations working in Angola under the UKAid Global Mine Action Program."
And the prince will also head to the Huambo Orthopaedic Centre, which Diana visited in 1997. Recently renovated, it aims to become Angola's national centre of excellence in orthopedic care.