The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to make their first joint visit to Sussex (about 50 miles south of London) on October 3, where they will see the historic Sussex Declaration, open a Tech Park and visit with locals.
Queen Elizabeth gave the couple their brand new royal titles — the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — on the morning of their royal wedding on May 19. Bestowing titles to members of the royal family on their wedding day is a longtime tradition. When Prince William and Kate Middleton got married, they became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Just like most royal dukedoms, the title Duke of Sussex carries quite a bit of history. Though it first appeared as early as the 800s, it’s traceable origins start with Prince Augustus Frederick, son of King George III (who was the British monarch during the American Revolution).
Meghan and Harry’s first port of call in the southern English region will be a blending of both their backgrounds. The royal couple will be shown a rare Sussex copy of the American Declaration of Independence, which is kept in Edes House, in the heart of Chichester, West Sussex.
The Sussex Declaration is one of only two contemporary handwritten ceremonial manuscript copies (the other is the signed copy housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.), and it comes only weeks after Harry and Meghan’s trip to see Hamilton, which captures some of the story of the Revolutionary era.
The next stop is along the coast at Bognor Regis, where Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, will officially open the University of Chichester’s Engineering and Digital Technology Park, which partners with local industry to offer students practical experiences in the sectors.
They are then scheduled to leave the county of West Sussex and travel along the coast to East Sussex to see the seaside city of Brighton and Hove. They start at the Royal Pavilion, which was built in the mid-1780s and was used by George IV as something of a pleasure palace. The grand structure has a flamboyant style, with expense spared on its interior decorations, matching its royal patron’s tastes for fashion and the arts. His regular visits to Brighton helped put the seaside town on the map and it grew in importance after that.
The couple will then walk to Survivors’ Network, a charity that supports survivors of sexual violence and abuse in Sussex to talk with to service users, volunteers and staff.
The royal couple’s final engagement of the day will be a visit to JOFF Youth Centre in Peacehaven. The community hub offers activities, from a chill out area to a music practice room and Harry and Meghan will meet young people to hear their plans and priorities around mental health and emotional wellbeing.
The visit is part of Takeover Challenge Day, which is a national initiative that encourages organizations to put young people into real life decision-making positions.