"Africa has held me in an embrace that I will never forget," Prince Harry said

By Dave Quinn
October 20, 2019 03:30 PM

Though Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have dedicated much of their humanitarian work to helping those in Africa, they won’t be moving to the continent anytime soon.

In ITV’s new documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, the Duke of Sussex, 35, revealed that he and wife Meghan, 38, are not planning to relocate from their new country home of Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, despite reports that suggest otherwise.

“I don’t know where we could live in Africa at the moment,” he said. “We just came from Cape Town, that would be an amazing place to base ourselves, of course, it would. But with all the problems that are going on there, I just don’t see how we’d be able to really make as much difference as we’d want to without the issues and the judgment of how we would be with those surroundings.”

The royal father of one added, “It’s a very hard place to live when you know what’s going on. And then you’re sort of, again, slightly disconnected from it.”

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Despite Harry and Meghan’s decision to stay in the U.K., the royal couple remains focused on their efforts in Africa.

“The rest of our lives, especially for our life’s work, will be predominately focused on Africa — on conservation,” Harry said. “There are 19 more countries across this continent. There’s a lot of things to be done. There’s a lot of problems here.”

“Ever since I came to this continent as a young boy, trying to cope with something I can never possibly describe, Africa has held me in an embrace that I will never forget,” he explained. “I feel incredibly fortunate for that.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, during their trip to Africa
Chris Jackson/Getty

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Africa has a special place in Harry and Meghan’s heart.

It has long been a go-to place for Harry, who has visited the continent since his teens and refers to it as “his second home.” He started his charity, Sentebale, in Lesotho in 2006 to help vulnerable children and young people in the country. Harr is also the president of African Parks and patron of the Rhino Conservation Botswana.

Meghan has ties to Africa as well. In 2016, she became the Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada, traveling to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign.

The couple traveled to Botswana together early in their relationship in the summer of 2016, and again to celebrate Meghan’s 36th birthday in 2017.

Harry & Meghan: An African Journey was filmed during their 10-day tour of Africa in late September and early October — a milestone trip that marked their first royal tour as a family of three (Archie, born on May 6, even attended his first-ever public engagement to meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe).

Prince Harry at the British High Commissioner residency in Johannesburg
MICHELE SPATARI/AFP via Getty
Meghan Markle at the British High Commissioner residency in Johannesburg
MICHELE SPATARI/AFP via Getty

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The royal couple wrapped up the final leg of their tour with an afternoon reception at the British High Commissioner’s residence, where they celebrated the U.K. and South Africa’s important business relationship and met with entrepreneurs.

Both Meghan and Harry gave speeches, taking the opportunity to thank Africa for their hospitality during their stay. The Duchess of Susses also shared an important message to young people around the world.

“I remember being a young girl watching TV and seeing what was happening in the world, and frankly, often feeling despair. Because when you continue and constantly see and hear negativity, it can be overwhelming; you can feel powerless, and lost, you can feel different, confused, or like you don’t belong,” she said. “And I’m sure there is a young girl or boy watching this and thinking the maybe exact same thing. So, this is for you.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Samir Hussein/WireImage

“In a world that can seem so aggressive, confrontational and dangerous, you should know that you have the power to change it,” Meghan continued. “Because whether you’re here in South Africa, at home in the U.K. or the U.S., or around the world, you actually have the power within you to change things, and that begins with how you connect to others.”

The royal mom added, “I have learned from the people I’ve met here, that whether it’s about society’s expectations of masculinity or femininity, or how we divide ourselves by race or faith or class or status — everyone has value, and everyone deserves to be heard and respected. And if you live your life in that way, your generation will start to value each other in ways the rest of us have not yet been able to do so.”

Harry also spoke about his love for Africa. “I want to thank you again for the warm reception here today, and everywhere myself and my family have been,” he said. “As I said to the young entrepreneurs this morning — Africa will always have a special place for me and my family, and I can’t wait to return.”

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and baby Archie
Toby Melville/Getty Images

Elsewhere in Harry & Meghan: An African Journey — filmed during the royal couple’s recent tour of southern Africa — Harry talked about the death of his mother, Princess Diana, calling it a “wound that festers.”

He was reminded of his mother while being back in a place that was so close to her heart.

“I think being part of this family — in this role, in this job — every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back,” he said. “In that respect, it’s the worst reminder of her life as oppose to the best.”

“Being here now 22 years later trying to finish what she started will be incredibly emotional. But everything that I do reminds me of her,” he continued. “But as I said — with the role, with the job and sort of the pressures that come with that — I get reminded of the bad stuff.”

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Meghan also got real about the pressures of being a new mother in the public eye, speaking to Tom Bradby about the negative attention from the press during her pregnancy and first months with son Archie, born May 6.

“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging. And then when you have a newborn, you know. And especially as a woman, it’s a lot,” she said. “So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mom or trying to be a newlywed. It’s um…yeah. I guess, also thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m okay, but it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”

Bradby asked if it “would be fair” to say that she’s “not really okay, as in it’s really been a struggle?”—  to which Meghan responded, “Yes.”

Harry & Meghan: An African Journey will air in the U.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 23. (at 10 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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