Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, along with their infant son, Archie, are making their first official tour as a family, starting Monday in a troubled South Africa whose president says women and children are “under siege” by shocking violence.
Empowering women is one of the issues Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will address on a 10-day, multi-country visit, along with wildlife protection, entrepreneurship, mental health and mine clearance — a topic given global attention by Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, when she walked through an active minefield during an Africa visit years ago.
Many in South Africa said they are happy to see the arrival of Meghan, who has been vocal about women’s rights and is likely to speak out again.
One of her first events is a visit to a workshop that gives self-defense classes to young girls.
“I think the Duchess of Sussex’ visit is perfectly timed. She’s coming to South Africa at an incredibly turbulent time,” said Lara Rosmarin, who leads a local tech incubator that will be part of the royal visit. “People are anxious, people are scared, people are worried … She’s coming at a time when she can instill some hope and some promise and perhaps highlight the struggles of women in South Africa.”
Harry and Meghan also will visit the oldest mosque in South Africa and meet with Nobel Peace Prize winner and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A “rare privilege and honor,” Tutu and his wife, Leah, said Thursday.
The prince later will break away for visits to Botswana, Angola and Malawi with a special focus on wildlife protection.
The royal family’s Africa visit ends on Oct. 2.