Harry and Meghan begin tour of Africa with baby Archie

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived in South Africa, with their four-month-old son Archie, for their first official tour as a family.

Prince Harry will also travel alone to Malawi, Botswana and Angola, where he will pay tribute to his mother Princess Diana’s anti-landmine campaign.

The 10-day visit, that began on Monday, will see the couple celebrate the people and culture of southern Africa.

They are visiting a township in Cape Town on the first stop of the visit.

The couple were welcomed Justice Desk initiative in Nyanga township, on the first day of their African tour in Cape Town, South Africa
The couple will learn about the work of the Justice Desk, a human rights organisation, which supports children in the Nyanga township. Image copyright: Reuters
Prince Harry is presented with a drawing by a young boy
The township has among the highest unemployment rate in South Africa. Image copyright: Reuters
Prince Harry and a young boy in South Africa
IOne young boy showed a drawing to Prince Harry. Image copyright: Reuters

The tour is baby Archie’s first official overseas trip and the family arrived in Cape Town at approximately 10:00 BST on a British Airways commercial flight.

The duke and duchess faced criticism last month after newspapers claimed they flew in private jets four times in 11 days.

In a post on the Sussex Royal Instagram account ahead of the tour, the duke said he could not wait to introduce his wife and son to South Africa.

On their first engagement, the couples visited Cape Town’s Nyanga township, where they met staff of a workshop that supports children and empowers young girls.

They spent time at the Justice Desk – an NGO supported by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust – which teaches children about their rights and how to deal with trauma, as well as offering self-defence classes to young people.

Meghan speaks to a young boy on a visit to Cape Town's Nyanga township
The couple are seeing a workshop which offers support to children in the township. Image copyright: Getty Images
The Duchess greeted the crowds
The Duchess greeted the crowds at the centre which teaches children about their rights, self-awareness and safety. Image copyright: Reuters
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their tour of Africa
Image copyright: Getty Images

Meghan is expected to speak about the rising violence against women in South Africa.

Other highlights of the tour will include a visit to another township near Johannesburg, where Prince Harry and Meghan will learn about a project tackling rising unemployment.

The royals will be in Africa until 2 October. While the duchess and Archie are scheduled to spend the duration in South Africa, Prince Harry will also tour Angola, Malawi and Botswana before being reunited with his family in Johannesburg.

‘Cheers, applause, song and dance’

By BBC News Africa reporter Pumza Fihlani

The royal couple’s arrival was marked with cheers, song and dance, but this visit is a serious one.

Sexual violence and violent crimes are the norm here in Nyanga township, with children and women often the most exposed in what is considered the murder capital of South Africa.

The duke and duchess were taken on a tour of a the NGO Justice Desk centre and talked in private to young women who’ve survived violence to learn more about what can be done to bring about change.

In impoverished communities such as this one across the country, local projects are often the only help people have to access justice and educational opportunities.

The couple wanted to visit Nyanga to learn more about the work the young people of this community are doing to try and better their lives, against such incredible and difficult odds.

On Friday the duke is due to visit Angola where he will mark the legacy of his mother, the Princess of Wales, by paying homage to her 1997 campaign to outlaw landmines.

In Malawi Prince Harry will pay tribute to a British soldier killed by an elephant during anti-poaching operations. His visit will also focus on efforts to protect endangered animals.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “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.”

Prince Harry’s first trip to Africa came in the months after his mother’s death in 1997, when the Prince of Wales took him to the continent “to get away from it all”, he has said.

It is the duchess’ first visit to South Africa.

Towards the end of the tour, the Sussexes will meet Graca Machel, the widow of South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela. They will also have an audience with South African president Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife.

Archie has not been included in the official schedule for South Africa, but the couple have made it known that they hope to publicly introduce him to Africa at some point.

Main image copyright: PA Media

First published 23.09.19: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49791564

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