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Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan kick off South Africa royal tour with dancing, stunning fashion | Nris
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Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan kick off South Africa royal tour with dancing, stunning fashion  3 Weeks ago

Source:   USA Today  

Have fun in Africa, baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor! Oh, and you too, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan!

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, along with their nearly 5-month-old baby, Archie, arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, Monday for the start of a 10-day tour of southern Africa, their first official foreign trip as a family.

The trio got off a commercial jet but skipped the usual airport arrival ceremony and went straight to their residence, which has not been disclosed due to security.

Pictures on Twitter and in the Daily Mail showed the baby in Meghan's arms, a knit cap with a pom-pom at the top on his head. They were accompanied by a nanny and other palace aides and assistants.

There may be few times to get an officially sanctioned glimpse of Archie during the trip; Buckingham Palace has not said whether he will make a formal royal debut at some point over the next 10 days.

Smiling broadly, Meghan appeared to be wearing a white blouse and jeans with a sand-colored knit coat and sand-colored flats. Her hair was pulled up and back in a tight chignon. Besides his white knit cap, Archie appeared to be wearing a navy blue knit baby onesie. 

Unlike their trip to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga in 2018, which was a huge successDown Under and at home, this trip is taking place against a backdrop of criticism and mockery of the Sussexes in the British tabloids: They are said to be too obsessed with privacy, too heedless of royal protocol, too extravagant in their spending, and hypocritical for taking private jets while warning against climate change. 

The Africa trip could be an opportunity to rack up some feel-good images and return to the good graces of the public and the media while representing queen and country. 

On Friday, the couple went to Rome for the wedding of Meghan's close friend designer Misha Nonoo to an American oil tycoon Michael Hess. The palace as a rule does not confirm the couple's "private" travels but there were photographs of the duo, including Meghan in an embellished black tulle gown by Valentino.

The Africa itinerary for the family is a little complicated, likely due in part to Archie's presence. Harry and Meghan will together visit South Africa, and Harry will also separately visit Angola, Malawi and Botswana while Meghan and Archie remain in South Africa.

Some of the overarching philanthropic themes of the tour will include campaigning against landmines and hunger, promoting female empowerment and education, environmentalism and conservation, entrepreneurship and investment, peace and reconciliation, and mental health. 

"Throughout this 10-day tour, the Duke and Duchess are pleased to raise awareness of the positive partnerships with the United Kingdom, particularly in advance of the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London in 2020," the palace said in an advance press release.

A poignant highlight of the trip is likely to be Harry's solo visit to Angola, where he will see the enduring legacy of his mother, the late Princess Diana, whose 1997 walk through a cleared minefield site helped change global opinion on the threat of landmines.

After dropping off Archie the couple immediately headed to their first engagement together, in Nyanga township in Cape Town where they were greeted by traditional dancers.

Meghan had changed into a black-and-white patterned wrap dress with black espadrille wedges on her feet.

They dropped in on a workshop that teaches children about self-awareness, self-defense and "female empowerment training" for young girls. This engagement fits in with Meghan's interest in encouraging women and girls around the world to achieve their goals, and also addresses the surge in violence in South Africa, especially against women.

Both climbed on a stump to deliver short speeches. "Touching on what your president said last week – no man is born to cause harm to women, this is learned behavior, and a cycle that needs to be broken," Harry said.

"While I am here with my husband as a member of the royal family, I want you to know that for me I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of color and as your sister," Meghan added.

They toured the District Six Museum to learn about its work to reunite members of the community forcibly relocated during the apartheid era. Duchess Meghan changed into a sky blue, buttoned-down dress tied at the waist, while Prince Harry switched into a light beige suit.

They also joined a community cooking activity with former residents of District Six at the nearby Homecoming Center. Meghan, a self-professed foodie, has already demonstrated an interest in group cooking to encourage female solidarity.

In the evening local time, their popular (9.5 million followers) Instagram page, sussexroyal, put their first post of the trip with a picture of Harry and Meghan talking to a child, with Harry crouching to look at him eye to eye. 

They posted a second picture of themselves at a table at the Homecoming Center. "They were treated to food cooked by local women that showcased the wonderful variety of recipes – and the importance of cooking to bring communities together – a topic The Duchess feels strongly about," the post read.

Day 2 will see them travel to Monwabisi Beach to learn about the "surf therapy" work of Waves for Change, an organization that trains local surfers to be mental health mentors to young people. This fits in with the couple's interest in reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness.

They will see the work of The Lunchbox Fund, one of the charities they designated to benefit from donations made by the public when Archie was born on May 6. The fund provides nearly 30,000 meals a day in South Africa’s townships and rural areas. 

They will meet with a leader of the Commonwealth Litter Program, which funds research and action to tackle plastic waste and educate on the damaging impact of micro-plastics in oceans. 

Harry will travel by boat to Seal Island in Kalk Bay to learn about efforts to combat abalone poaching, one of South Africa’s most significant illegal wildlife trade concerns. As Captain General of the Royal Marines, Harry will be accompanied by two Royal Marines who have helped train South Africans in anti-poaching efforts.

Later, the couple will visit the Bo-Kaap, a South African Heritage Protection Site, to mark Heritage Day, a celebration of the diversity of cultures, beliefs and traditions of South Africa. They will also visit the Auwal mosque, the oldest mosque in the country, to meet representatives from different faith groups to hear about the strength of interfaith dialogue in Cape Town.

Some lucky local residents will then host the couple for tea in their home. They'll conclude the day at a reception at the British High Commissioner’s Residence to meet young future leaders. 

On Day 3, Harry and Meghan will meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife, Nomalizo Tutu, at their legacy foundation. Harry has met him before, the last time in 2015.

After that, the royal couple will be on different schedules in different countries.

In Angola, Harry is scheduled to visit the minefield his mother visited in Huambo, rename the local orthopedic hospital in her honor, spend the night at a new HALO Trust (Diana was its royal patron, now Harry is) de-mining camp, and check out a de-mining field outside Dirico, where he will remotely detonate a mine.

The couple will reunite in Johannesburg on Oct. 1, and for the final day of the tour on Oct. 2, when they are scheduled to visit a township to meet with local youth leaders and entrepreneurs working to address rising unemployment.

They will meet with Graça Machel, widow of the late former President Nelson Mandela, attend a reception to celebrate business and investment relationships between the U.K. and South Africa, and attend an audience with President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife Dr. Tshepo Motsepe.

They will depart for London that evening.

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