With Prince Harry and Meghan due to touch down in South Africa in just a few hours time, anticipation is mounting for the Sussexes’ first tour as a family. And while there is still no word on when the public may catch its first glimpse of baby Archie, there is no doubt that he will be the star of the show when he does make an appearance.
Ahead of the royal arrival, a palace source said that the couple were “very much looking forward” to the trip, adding: “Africa holds a very special place in the duke’s heart and he’s looking forward to sharing South Africa with the duchess and their son.”
The source continued about the trip, “And obviously we have an extra special small passenger to make things a little more lively.”
The Sussexes and their entourage of 13 (with the addition of their newly appointed private secretary who is being paid for privately taking it to 14) will arrive in the country by scheduled flight on Monday, September 23, and their official program will begin later that day. In an itinerary that has been drawn up alongside officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office they will represent Britain in addition to focusing on their own areas of interest including conservation, young people, and women’s empowerment.
The British High Commissioner to South Africa Nigel Casey told journalists that “visits like this play an important part in celebrating, sustaining and renewing what is a dynamic, modern relationship between the U.K. and South Africa.” He also highlighted how the U.K. is a leading investor in South Africa and that around 430,000 Brits visit the country every year spending more than £500 million (roughly $624 million).
“It’s also an opportunity to shine a spotlight on some issues close to the hearts of the duke and duchess and of real importance to the South Africans.” he said. “It will also be a chance to underline the strength and continuity of our royal family’s ties to South Africa. And in particular to recall the warm and special relationship between her majesty the Queen and the late President Mandela.”
On their first day, the couple will visit a township in Cape Town and view a workshop that teaches children about their rights as well as providing self-defense classes and female empowerment training to young girls. Both Harry and Meghan will speak publicly there.
Later on, they will tour the District Six Museum to learn more about the forced relocation of 60,000 people during the apartheid era. They will then meet the public before visiting the nearby Homecoming Centre and joining a community cooking activity.
The first three days of the trip will see the couple carry out joint engagements in Cape Town before Harry goes to Botswana, Angola and Malawi alone, leaving Meghan and Archie in South Africa. The family will be reunited in Johannesburg for the final two days of the tour.
Notably, in Angola, Harry will make a particularly poignant visit to the location in Huambo where Princess Diana memorably raised awareness of the threat posed by landmines in 1997. He will see how the area has now been transformed into a thriving community with schools and businesses.