MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry were hugged by a very enthusiastic 81-year-old on the first day of their royal tour in South Africa.
Royal fan Somaya Ebrahim greeted the couple during a walkabout in Cape Town on Monday and asked: “Where’s Archie?”
Meghan Markle was hugged by a very excited royal fan[/caption]
Somaya Ebrahim greeted the couple during a walkabout in Cape Town and asked: ‘Where’s Archie?’[/caption]
She was told that four-month-old Archie, who is on his first ever tour, was sleeping.
Somaya was in the crowds when the Duke’s grandmother the Queen first visited Cape Town with her parents and sister in 1947.
The former District Six resident was forcibly removed to a Township with her family during the Apartheid era.
Somaya, who was just nine when she waved her flag for King George VI and his family, was overwhelmed by the meeting.
“It was amazing, they were so lovely,” she said afterwards.
Somaya was in the crowds when the Duke’s grandmother the Queen first visited Cape Town[/caption]
Meghan beamed and appeared to enjoy the hug[/caption]
Meghan looked stunning in a cobalt blue wrap dress[/caption]
The royal visit was also overwhelming for eight year old Mackenzie Collison, who began to cry after meeting the Duchess.
“She was beautiful, she just said hello and how are you,” said the little girl, who had been waiting for nearly three hours to see the couple.
Local artist Adrien Lee presented the Duke with an oil painting of him, which he declared to be “amazing.”
“I painted it two years ago,” she said, “but I was waiting for an opportunity to give it to him.
“Meghan saw it and said ‘wow!’ and that was wonderful, very special.
“I am so thrilled that they absolutely loved it.”
The royal couple visited a township near Cape Town, their first stop on a ten-day African tour, where they were greeted with a lively party and plenty of hugs and high fives.
Harry and Meghan charmed the crowds as they walked two blocks from the District Six Museum.
They were told how some 60,000 people were forcibly relocated from the inner city area when Apartheid began in 1966.
The couple had chosen to first visit the township of Nyanga, which is the murder capital of South Africa — a country itself known for having one of the world’s highest homicide rates.
They wanted to see for themselves the work of the Justice Desk, a human rights organisation helping youngsters and women who are often the victims of violence.
The charity is supported by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which has Harry as its president and Meghan as vice-president.
They were greeted with hugs, kisses, female dances in traditional costume, musicians playing and ecstatic youngsters waving their national flag.
Soon Harry was engaged in a spot of “dad dancing” as he joined in with a performance, sending the Duchess of Sussex into fits of hysterics.
Meghan herself was beckoned over, although she proved more of a natural than her spouse.
After their impromptu dancing, the couple struck a more serious tone, making impassioned speeches about women’s rights.
On a personal note while I’m here as a member of the royal family, I’m here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister
In tribute to the region, Meghan wore a dress by the label Mayamiko, an ethical and sustainable woman’s wear and life style brand, producing clothes made in Malawi.
Surrounded by young women who have benefited from a female empowerment programme teaching them self-defence, the duchess took the unusual step of highlighting her mixed-race heritage.
In a powerful speech to the hosts, Megan said: “On a personal note while I’m here as a member of the royal family, I’m here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister.
“Please know that my husband and I have been closely following what you’ve been experiencing here — as best we can from afar.
“But now that we are with you, we are eager to learn and see first-hand the work that you’re doing, the vital work that you’re doing.
“And that everything that is being done on the ground is making the great change that you not only need but that you deserve.”
‘NO MAN IS BORN TO CAUSE HARM TO WOMEN’
The Prince also spoke to the cheering crowd. He said: “Touching on what your president said last week: ‘No man is born to cause harm to women’.
“This is learned behaviour and a cycle that needs to be broken.
“Now it’s about redefining masculinity.
“It’s about creating your own footprint for your children to follow in so that you can make a positive change for the future.”
Smiling from ear-to-ear, Harry thanked the crowds who had gathered to welcome him and his wife.
Now it’s about redefining masculinity… no man is born to cause harm to women
Harry said: “I wanted to ensure that our first visit as a family, with my wife by my side, focused on the significant challenges facing millions of South Africans, while acknowledging the hope that we feel so strongly.”
Along with his wife, he said was “incredibly grateful” to have the chance to listen and learn about “the issues that define your daily lives in these communities”.
He added: “That’s what this is… a community. A community where men and women have a vital role to play.”
Harry will travel to Angola on Friday, to pay homage to the work of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, who campaigned for landmines to be outlawed after a visit she made to the country in 1997.
The duke will also pay tribute to a British soldier killed by an elephant during anti-poaching operations in Malawi when he visits the country on September 30, to focus attention on efforts to protect endangered animals.
A post about the tour on the royal couple’s official Instagram account said: “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.”
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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.”
Meghan, who is making her first visit to South Africa, and Harry both admire South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela and have already met members of his family in the UK.
Towards the end of their visit they will be introduced to the statesman’s widow Graca Machel, who met the duke when he visited South Africa in 2015, and have an audience with President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife Tshepo Motsepe.
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