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Prince Harry, Meghan and baby Archie kick off Africa tour

September 23, 2019 - 6:01 am
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(LONDON) -- Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, kicked off their tour of Africa on Monday and brought baby Archie with them, marking their first official overseas trip as a family.

The family is spending the first day of their trip in Cape Town, South Africa, and will depart for the U.K. on Oct. 2.

The Sussexes' South Africa trip is on behalf of the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, according to Buckingham Palace. Harry will also visit Malawi and Angola during the family's trip, and will also undertake a "working visit" to Botswana.

Here are five things to watch as the royal family descends on South Africa:

Baby Archie sightings

Archie will be one of the youngest royals to travel on an official trip overseas. He was born in May so he will be nearly 5 months old as he joins his parents in South Africa.

Harry and Meghan are bringing Archie's nanny with them on the trip.

Buckingham Palace has not revealed when, or if, Archie will join Harry and Meghan at official events, but we're hoping there will be at least a few sightings of the young royal.

Moments tied to Princess Diana

Prince Harry will make a poignant visit to Huambo and the same location where his mother, the late Princess Diana, was famously photographed visiting a de-mining site and visiting with landmine victims.

The area where Harry will visit is now a busy area with schools and shops, a far cry from the scene his mom saw in 1997.

He will be greeted in Huambo by the same official, Gov. Joana Lina, who was the official host for Princess Diana's visit, according to Buckingham Palace.

Harry will also visit the Huambo Orthopaedic Centre, which Diana visited in 1997.

"The Duke is especially proud to continue the legacy left by his mother with her work in Angola as he joins Halo Trust again in an effort to rid the world of landmines," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

Meghan's focus on empowering women

Fresh off the debut of Meghan's Smart Set fashion collection designed to empower women, expect to see the duchess championing women in South Africa, too.

She is scheduled to host events focused on female entrepreneurs and leaders and women and girls' health and education during the 10-day tour.

Meghan had one of her biggest moments on the couple's last major overseas tour, right after their 2018 wedding, when she declared "feminism is about fairness" during a speech in New Zealand.

A celebration of young people

Meghan, 38, was named in March as vice president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, an organization that supports and connects young leaders in the Commonwealth, which includes countries in Africa.

Harry, 35, was named Commonwealth Youth Ambassador last year by Queen Elizabeth.

While in South Africa, the duke and duchess are expected to participate in events focused on young people and issues of concern to them, like employment, mental health and the environment.

On the environment, Harry will reveal a new initiative during the trip, Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. The initiative is described by Buckingham Palace as a "three-country partnership which he designed and consulted with Governments in Namibia, Botswana and Angola to protect forest and wildlife corridors around the Okavango Delta."

Harry and Meghan's personal attachment to Africa

Harry first visited Africa as a young teenager and "more than two decades later, the people, culture, wildlife and resilient communities continue to inspire and motivate him every day," according to Buckingham Palace.

Africa is also where Harry whisked Meghan away a few weeks after the couple's first date in 2017.

"I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana and we camped out with each other under the stars," Harry said in a post-engagement interview last year. "She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic, so then we were really by ourselves, which I think was crucial to me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other."

Harry, who established his charity, Sentebale, in the African country of Lesotho in 2006, also included a piece of Botswana in Meghan's engagement ring. The main stone in Meghan's ring is sourced from Botswana, while the diamonds surrounding it are from the jewelry collection of Harry's mother.

Harry has also said in previous interviews that Africa will always have sentimental value to him because Africa is where he, Prince Charles and Prince William went to "get away from it all" after Diana's death in 1997.

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