Meghan Markle Gives Some of Archie's 'Loved but Outgrown' Clothes to South African Charity for Moms
The Duchess of Sussex brought a personal gift with her to a solo engagement in South Africa
Meghan Markle had two special solo outings during her tour to South Africa on Wednesday.
The royal mom, 38, who took Archie on his first official outing earlier in the day, visited mothers2mothers charity, which trains and employs women living with HIV to be health workers in eight African countries.
The Duchess of Sussex handed over two large bags of “loved but outgrown” clothes from Archie and her friends’ children to donate to the charity. Some of the items include baby clothes that were sent to her and Prince Harry when their son was born in May.
“It’s so important that we’re able to share what’s worked for our family and know that we’re all in this together with each other. So we wanted to share something form our home to each of yours,” she said.
Meghan also came with books, pens and other gifts for the mothers2mothers group that works to help families with HIV in the South African city. The royal mom sat on the floor with the other mothers as the children played.
“The Duchess decided to bring a number of his presents to hand on to South African children and families most in need,” a royal source says.
“She sat down and within a few moments, she saw that the babies were all being held by their mothers. She saw the play mat, she said, ‘Let’s get these babies on the ground.’ She sat on the ground with us. She pulled us down and she just engaged with the children,” says Frank Beadle de Palomo, President and CEO of the charity.
“She played ball with them, she caught their eye, never forgetting the attention she had with the mentor mothers who were speaking to her. She asked questions and engaged with individuals and at the end she spoke with one of our adolescent clients. Her comment to her, ‘My gosh, to meet someone who at your age is so empowered – this is the future.’ You have that feeling that this is a person who is very real. She left everyone touched and extremely motivated by her energy and presence.”
Mom of two Limpho Nteko, 29, who like Meghan has a 5-month-old baby, shared her story with the royal. Nteko, who is from the southern African country of Lesotho, was married at 19 and, when she become pregnant at age 21, she found out she was HIV positive. Sadly, her first baby, who was born HIV negative, died at just three weeks. She first met mothers2mothers when she was pregnant again in 2013 and has since had a second baby – and both her kids are HIV free.
Nteko works for the charity, managing 84 mentor mothers. When she told her story to Meghan, Nteko says, “She was moved, she was very touched. I could tell from her facial expressions that she actually understood what I was going through. I could tell she was actually trying to put herself in my shoes to get a clear picture of what I am saying. Through the questions that she asked, like ‘how did that make you feel?’ it said to me that she understands.”
Nteko adds, “She was amazing. She mentioned that she is a mom as well. She enjoyed playing and at the same time she was paying attention to what the mothers were saying and picking up on what important points they mentioned. That was actually quite amazing.
“I totally forgot she was a duchess. Even though I was nervous, when she entered the room everything was so normal! She’s an incredible person. She makes everyone feel welcomed. She warmed up the place.”
As Meghan Markle left a charity on her third stop of the day in Cape Town, she made the day for a group of wellwishers – by giving them a group hug!
Catherine Arzul, 23, a potter from Cape Town, says, “She hugged us all and then she took the flowers from the guy standing next to me and said, ‘I’ll hug you too.’ I said, ‘Can I have another one?’ and she said, ‘How about a group hug?’ It was so amazing.”
“I told her that what she said the other day — about being a being here as a mother and sister and woman — was such an amazing thing to say. How she’s using her impact to spread love and positivity.”
“She said, ‘Thank you. You’re going to make me cry.’ She was so gracious and humble.”
“Her impact has been incredible,” Arzul adds. “The fact that she is a Black, divorced woman marrying into the royal family – that was really hard. She has got such negativity but she has dealt with it, she has been so gracious about it she hasn’t let it get to her. She is showing everybody love and she’s doing the best she can.”
“The hug was so sweet,” adds Mignon O’Flaherty, 22, a student from Cape Town, who was overcome with emotion afterwards. “She is my biggest idol. Her and Harry have been doing such great work. And I told her, ‘Thank you for being authentic.’ She’s really great. She does such a great work and is changing the world and that’s what I want to do.”
Earlier in the day, Meghan met with female entrepreneurs who work in technology during a visit to the Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town, where local creatives can go to grow and support their craft.
The outings come on the third day of a landmark first tour that Harry and Meghan have taken as a family with their son. On Monday, Harry, 35, outlined his philosophy as a dad, telling children at a workshop to teach them self-defense and female empowerment training, “Now, it’s about redefining masculinity, it’s about creating your own footprints for your children to follow in, so that you can make a positive change for the future.
“To me, the real testament of your strength isn’t physical, it’s what’s up here and what’s in here. Your strength is in your spirit, which for me means honoring and protecting my wife, and being a positive role model for my son.”
To kick off the third day of their royal South Africa tour, Prince Harry introduced his wife and almost 5-month-old son to an old friend.
On Wednesday morning, the little royal was taken by his parents for his first official royal engagement to meet with famed anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe.
During the meeting, the royal couple had a lively laughter-filled chat with Archbishop Tutu and Thandeka, where Harry revealed that Archie “constantly wants to stand.”
Meghan added, “He’s an old soul!”
“I think he knows exactly what’s going on,” Harry said of his son.