With about a week to go until the Duke and Duchess of Sussex leave for their four-country tour of Africa, Buckingham Palace has revealed the full itinerary of engagements for the ten-day trip—and announced that Archie will be making an appearance.
“This will be Their Royal Highnesses’ first official tour as a family. Not only will this visit serve as an opportunity for the duke and duchess to highlight many of the causes they have been involved with for many years, it will demonstrate a modern U.K.-Africa partnership in action,” a spokesperson said at a briefing for media including BAZAAR.com yesterday morning.
While there will not be an opportunity for press to witness the family of three arriving in Cape Town on September 23, a palace source confirms that “the couple hope to include Archie at some point in the program . . . but it’s difficult to say when because he’s five months old.” Their son will be based in South Africa with Duchess Meghan and a nanny while Harry travels to Botswana, Angola, and Malawi solo.
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With a full and varied itinerary, the royal couple is “eager to focus their energies on the great work being done in southern Africa.” They will take on 35 engagements together and separately, focusing on grassroots leadership, women’s rights, mental health, the environment, and HIV/AIDS. From visiting Monwabisi Beach in Cape Town for a charity helping at-risk children living in unstable communities to meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the couple worked with the U.K.’s foreign office to create a program they hope will be as educational as it is inspiring.
Much of the trip will see Harry and Meghan working in their roles of President and Vice President of the The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, respectively, meeting young leaders to address socio-economic and environmental challenges. In South Africa, Harry and Meghan will see the work of The Lunchbox Fund, one of four charities to benefit from donations made by the public to celebrate Archie’s birth, in action—it provides nearly 30,000 meals every day to schools in the country’s townships and rural areas. They will also visit Cape Town’s Bo Kaap area to mark Heritage Day, “a celebration of the great diversity of cultures, beliefs and traditions that make up the rainbow nation of South Africa.”
As President of African Parks and Patron of Rhino Conservation Botswana, Harry plans to hit the ground running for solo engagements on September 25. Starting in Botswana, he will highlight the vital conservation work being done to protect wildlife in the country, and how sustainable tourism can support the needs of local communities and the environment. Adds a spokesperson, “The Duke is also particularly proud to be able to deliver an exciting new initiative, a Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy three-country partnership which he designed in consultation with governments in Namibia, Botswana, and Angola to protect wildlife corridors around the Okavango Delta.” The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy was launched in 2015 with the aim of linking all 53 Commonwealth countries under an umbrella of sustainable forest conservation initiatives.
Buckingham Palace also revealed new details about plans for Prince Harry’s poignant tribute to Princess Diana‘s legacy in raising awareness of the threat of landmines in Angola. On day five of the tour he will travel to the same spot in Huambo, Angola, that his late mother visited in 1997 to see how an area that was once a dangerous minefield is now a busy street with schools, shops, and houses. “Now, more than two decades later, humanitarian de-mining work continues and the Angolan government has made a significant financial commitment to clearing landmines from another large area important for conservation of Angola’s unique ecosystem,” a palace statement reveals. During his day of engagements, Harry will launch a new project operated by HALO Trust and visit the Huambo Orthopaedic Centre, also visited by his mother in 1997, to unveil a new name in honor of Princess Diana and give a speech.
Harry will then travel to Malawi, where he will check in on the British Army’s partnership with African Parks and do some work on the ground to support local communities.
When Harry heads off to Botswana on September 25, the Duchess of Sussex will remain in Cape Town to work with local organizations that promote women and girls’ health education, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Her first solo engagement will include a visit to the Woodstock Exchange to meet female entrepreneurs and investors working in technology. Sources add that there are also two private engagements possibly on the itinerary for the Duchess, with details to be announced closer to the time.
After several days working solo, Harry will reunite with his family in South Africa on October 2 to attend engagements with Meghan. They will meet inspiring local youth and visit Grace Machel, the widow of the late President Nelson Mandela. They will then attend an audience with President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife Dr. Tshepo Motsepe before traveling back to London in the evening.
Sources tell BAZAAR that the couple are “extremely excited” about touring the continent together for the first time. A trip 10 months in the making, this tour also marks Meghan’s first time visiting South Africa. Adds a palace spokesperson, “The Duke of Sussex’s love for Africa is well known; he first visited the continent at the age of thirteen and more than two decades later, the people, culture, wildlife and resilient communities continue to inspire and motivate him every day. As Her Majesty’s Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, The Duke now has a platform to be able to support young people across Africa in reaching their full potential.”
Certain details of the couple’s visits to townships in South Africa are being embargoed “until the eleventh hour” for safety reasons. During her time in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, Meghan and Archie will be based at official residences which have been carefully selected “based on security and logistics.”
With the announcement of Prince Harry’s latest initiative, Travalyst, focusing on sustainable travel and tourism, a senior palace aide tells BAZAAR.com that the couple plan to off-set all their carbon emissions, which includes a six-seater charter plane for domestic travel and commercial flights to and from South Africa. The same measurements will be in place for their accompanying entourage, which includes private secretary Samantha Cohen, head of communications Sarah Latham, deputy private secretary Heather Wong, head of social and digital media David Watkins, two program coordinators, a personal assistant, a hairstylist, and a nanny.
“Their Royal Highnesses are grateful for the opportunity to connect with those on the ground in southern Africa and to be inspired by the work being done and learn how they can be better supported,” says a spokeswoman. Adds the couple in a new Instagram post, “We look forward to seeing you soon!”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.