Surprise! Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Take Archie on His First Official Outing in South Africa
“I think he knows exactly what’s going on," the Duke of Sussex said of his son during his first royal engagement
On Wednesday morning, the little royal was taken by his parents for his first official royal engagement to meet with famed anti-apartheid activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe.
Ahead of the anticipated meeting, the couple posted several clips with Archie on the way to meet Archbishop Tutu in their Instagram Stories on their Sussex Royal account.
In the short videos, the family of three strolled along a corridor as Archie — dressed in light blue overalls from H&M and matching booties — was snuggled into his mother’s arms. Meghan looked chic in Club Monaco's Dremah Silk Dress and black pumps in the clips captioned, “Arch meets Archie!”
Harry put his arm around Meghan in the sweet clip and leaned over to tell his son, “You get to meet Arch!” Archie let out a little giggle, which made his parents laugh.
The royals met at Tutu’s foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, which contributes to the development of youth and leadership, facilitates discussions about social justice and common human purposes. The foundation hopes to spread the teachings and thoughts of the archbishop to new generations.
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 is used to it already,” Harry said of his son.
Thandeka then joked to the baby, “You like me, don’t you? You like the ladies better, don’t you? He’s going to be a ladies’ man.”
After the outing, the couple posted a sweet black-and-white shot of Archie on their Instagram, alongside the caption: “Thank you Archbishop Tutu for your incredibly warm hospitality, Archie loved meeting you!” – The Duke and Duchess.
The family of three was given a few gifts from Archbishop Tutu following the outing, including poignant photos of Archie’s late grandmother Princess Diana and children’s books (Children of God Storybook Bible and Desmond and the Mean Word, both penned by the Archbishop, and a children’s songbook).
The family also received a book containing the work of anti-apartheid poet Patricia Schonstein and the Book of Joy, signed by the Archbishop and the Dalai Lama.
A matching pair of beaded bracelets handmade by members of Ikamva Labantu, which works in Cape Town focusing on early childhood development, after-school initiatives and the well-being of elder people, were also given, as was a pair of framed photographs of Harry’s mom Diana meeting late President Nelson Mandela in 1997 — one for Harry and one for his brother, Prince William. They also received portable recyclable lap desks.
Harry previously met Archbishop Tutu during a Nov. 2015 tour of South Africa, when the royal presented him with an honor in recognition of his services to U.K. communities and international peace.
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world,” the quote read on a blue background that features Meghan and Harry’s joint monogram.
In a caption, they wrote: “An inspiring quote for the day – wishing you a wonderful week ahead!”
Niclas Kjellstromn-Matseke, chairman of the Desmond and Leah Legacy Foundation, sees the visit as symbolic as look to the next generation.
“Archbishop Tutu met the Queen and had a great relationship with her and here is her grandson,” he says. “This is a generational thing. This is a hand over from the elderly to the younger.”
Kjellstrom-Matseke was with the Tutus recently and “the thing that is clear and important is that they are excited to meet the couple, and it’s important to Desmond Tutu that it happens at the foundation — that has a strong symbolic meaning to him. This is his legacy now and he is finally taking a step back from public life and handing over the legacy. He wants to show the Duke and Duchess the legacy.”
The couple will be shown around and see the displays marking out the anti-apartheid clergyman’s life and work.
“The warmth is definitely being shown [by them], and that’s why they are so lovable. Every time dignitaries or great leaders are visiting your home or country it’s a token of recognition. We all need that in the world now and again and South Africa certainly needs that in these challenging times,” says Kjellstrom-Matseke. “We very much appreciate the couple bringing a positive limelight to South Africa.”
Meghan and Harry’s tour of Africa marks their first royal tour with their son, who was born on May 6.
At a briefing at Buckingham Palace held earlier this month, the couple’s private secretary Samantha Cohen told reporters that “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 UK-Africa partnership in action.”
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“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,” she added. “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.”
Meghan is joining Harry on visits in South Africa before he heads off solo for engagements in Botswana, Angola and Malawi. The Duchess of Sussex is expected to stay in South Africa with Archie.