Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Trip to Africa Will Be a 'Little More Lively' with Son Archie
They "are very much looking forward to their arrival in Africa," a palace source tells PEOPLE
The family arrives into Cape Town on Monday morning to begin a visit to South Africa, while Harry is also set to head off alone to Botswana, Angola and Malawi before being reunited with Meghan and their son.
They “are very much looking forward to their arrival in Africa tomorrow on their first official tour as a family,” a palace source said on Sunday. “Africa holds a very special place in the Duke’s heart and he’s looking forward to sharing South Africa with the Duchess and their son.”
The program — drawn up alongside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the couple’s main charities or patronages — will “truly demonstrate the modern U.K.-Africa partnership in action. It’s a busy program – which is four countries in ten days. And obviously, we have an extra special small passenger to make things a little more lively.”
Nigel Casey, the British high commissioner for South Africa, added at a briefing in Cape Town: “Visits like this play an important part in celebrating, sustaining and renewing what is a dynamic, modern relationship between the U.K. and South Africa.”
There are around 380 media accredited throughout the tour across the four countries. And excitement is growing for Harry, who has visited often, and particularly for Meghan, who is heading to the country for the first time.
The couple begins the public element of their tour with a visit to a township in Cape Town where they will receive a welcome and visit workshop that teaches kids about their rights, and self-defense and provides female empowerment training to young girls.
The Duke and Duchess will also go on a short walkabout, enabling them to meet some of the local community for the first time. They are also expected to make some opening remarks.
“Young brown girls like myself can say ‘somebody has done it. It can be done,” says Matsi Modise who will spend time with the Duchess of Sussex at a gathering of female entrepreneurs on Wednesday. She believes Meghan is “influencing the world order. She shows the world is changing and evolving that there is a place like brown children and women like myself in society. That’s one thing that really touched me. I can really relate to her.”
On Tuesday, part of the day will be spent on the beach – where the couple will meet the coaches and mentors from mental health organization Waves for Change, who help build confidence and mental wellbeing among young people ages 11-14 from disadvantaged areas.
“We are very lucky to bring the kids into the natural environment into the ocean and the beach, which really gives their minds and bodies a break from the communities they are living in where they are constantly exposed to stress and trauma and challenges like poverty and violence,” Ash Heese, training and partnerships manager, tells PEOPLE. “And the beach is almost an opposite space. An opportunity to step away from all of that.”
She praises the couple as “two people who are such positive mental health champions supporting our program and mental health in general. It is so important that people like the Sussexes are promoting healthy mental wellbeing. Even just the fact that they are talking about it’s huge and valuable.”
On Wednesday, Meghan, who is keen to promote female entrepreneurs, will have a solo engagement with women making headway as CEOs and founders of tech businesses. Modise, founder of skills training organization Simodisa and CEO and FAH, says, “I don’t want to have tea with the royals for the sake of having tea with the royals.” She wants to find out how Meghan can help them. “I’m not having tea with a princess, I’m actually having tea with somebody who can be a great advocate for empowering entrepreneurs.”
And Naadiya Moosajee, co-founder of Womhub and WomEng, which delivers more programs to get women and girls into engineering and technology, tells PEOPLE, “Her visit in the context of a country that’s really grappling with the challenges with the way we treat women is coming at an opportune time.”
“Her focus is broadly around women empowerment and also the education of women. We both share a passion for the promotion of women entrepreneurs and how women can own their engineering industry. We may be kindred spirits in the room with her and find that is something that is amazing.”