Thursday, 27 June 2019

The Sussexes' "First Family Tour" Officially Confirmed

This afternoon, Buckingham Palace confirmed the long rumoured news the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will undertake a tour of southern Africa at the request of the Foreign Office this autumn. On their official Instagram account, they revealed "this will be their first tour as a family", confirming rumours Archie will join his parents. "TRH the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are excited to announce that they have been asked to carry out a tour to southern Africa this autumn. The Duke and Duchess are really looking forward to meeting so many of you on the ground and continuing to raise awareness of the high impact work local communities are doing across the Commonwealth and beyond."


The Palace confirmed the Duke and Duchess will tour South Africa following confirmation from High Commissioner Nigel Casey at a special event in honour of Her Majesty yesterday. Mr Casey said: "That's great news for us. I predict it's also good news for the South African economy because I predict a hat and frock-buying frenzy - which could well restore economic growth all on its own."

Whilst the couple and their son will tour South Africa together, and their base will be located there, Harry alone will visit Malawi, where he is expected to launch a new arm of Sentebale, and Angola, where he will retrace his late mother's footsteps and continue her work on landmine removal. Harry will also make a very brief visit to Botswana. The itinerary will focus on causes close to their hearts including conservation, young people, gender equality and education. It is also thought there will be an appearance or two with Archie. The tour will see the couple continue to cement their roles as Commonwealth ambassadors, representing Her Majesty and the government in member nations.


One element of consideration will be Archie's age. ITV's royal correspondent Chris Ship understands the tour will take place in mid-September, when he will be only four months old. It will make him the youngest royal baby to accompany his parents on a royal tour abroad. Logistically Chris reports the tour will work this way; the Sussexes arrive in Cape Town together and will begin the tour there. The second leg will see Harry travel to Angola, Malawi and Botswana before rejoining Meghan and Archie in Johanessburg for the final portion. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Meghan carrying out several solo engagements while Harry's away.


More from Good Morning America:

'Africa is also close to both Harry and Meghan's hearts. It's where Harry whisked Meghan away a few weeks after the couple's first date in 2017.
"I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana and we camped out with each other under the stars," Harry said in a post-engagement interview last year. "She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic, so then we were really by ourselves, which I think was crucial to me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other."

It should be another terrific tour for the couple. We'll likely see the full itinerary released a couple of weeks before they leave the UK. Are you looking forward to the Sussex family tour? Below, a taste of the stunning sights we can expect during the tour - Cape Town's 'City Bowl'.


We're expecting to hear details regarding Archie's christening, due to take place in July, any day now.

78 comments:

  1. Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

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    1. I understand the sentiment, but I don't think that's always true. Of course not everyone will be happy with a given decision, but some are definitely more popular (or less) than others.

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    2. Agreed, bluhare

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    3. I look forward to this next royal tour of the star couple of the British royal family. Concerning this controversy over the "Sussex Brand", I think it’s still the little beast that the media and jealous people are looking for in small details to hurt this beautiful couple; why? Because, quite simply, the Sussex do not need to lift a finger to build a brand, it is all this beautiful world that loves them so much from the world, that created and strengthens this "Sussex Brand", same goes for little Archie Harrison for whom the fans took the initiative to create a charitable contribution site in his name. So it’s the notoriety and popularity of the couple that just makes its beautiful effect.

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    4. Yes but she'll have great posture and hold her head high while they're trying to damn her!

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    5. You have that right, lauri!

      But I'm getting really tired of it. I admit its wearing me down.

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    6. I understand bluhare, it's getting to me as well. I wonder if Meghan wasn't on maternity leave but was out and about doing engagements if the negative press would be as bad or if because she hasn't been seen except twice since April it created a void that the press is filling with negative stories? I'm keeping my fingers crossed that once she resumes her royal engagements there will be more positive press. It's made me a bit sad/mad that none of her "new" family members have stepped forward or done anything to stop the vicious attacks. That's causing me to look at the BRF in a whole new light.

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    7. I agree about your comment that none of her “new” family have stepped forward. It is especially disappointing since I recall that when there were attacks prior to the marriage, there was a comment from someone on here stated that well, at least she would be protected once she was part of the family. There has been a resounding silence from the Palace. No wonder Diana’s famous commment: “after all I have done for this *ing family”.

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  2. Harry's work with Halo Trust and African Parks in the Okavango Delta reminded me of my Geography lessons.

    https://www.timbuktutravel.com/blog/okavango-delta-fluke-nature

    If you can, read about it because besides being a UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the few remaining wilderness on earth untouched by man, it is a freak of nature.

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  3. Would be amazing if they visited Kwa zulu Natal as well .. we have so many Npo's that they would enjoy visiting

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    1. Hey Unknown, I second that as I am from Durban in KZN! We are often the forgotten part of SA but still a beautiful place nonetheless. I hope that they visit our neck of woods!

      Love Avee in SA

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  4. The WellChild Awards are expected in September, on Harry's birthday according to Gert's Royals, and I don't think Harry will miss it. I waited for Duke and Duchess of Sussex or Buckingham Palace to confirm this which both did. So, I will wait for The Sussexes to post their itinerary on #SussexRoyal or via Buckingham Palace. The reporters have said they were going for 3 years, a year, months, and then finally a tour. I have nothing against your article but again I'll wait for the Sussexes to release their itinerary. Good article though.

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    1. I just read that their time in Africa will be days...not weeks. I seriously doubt that they will at any point live in Africa, as earlier rumours speculated.

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    2. In regards to the years or months and length of this tour, my understanding is that the reporters have said this trip is an "introduction" to a possible longer sojourn abroad in the next few years. So I don't think they've actually contradicted themselves or been proven wrong yet because this trip is not what they were talking about when they first brought up the possibility of spending longer amounts of time in certain parts of Africa.

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  5. It's a great news.
    I just hope that Meghan will not do too much engagements in order to take care of Archie. At 4 months, he needs his mother, and his father of course.

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    1. She is only going to S. Africa, whilst Harry goes to the other 3 countries, women across the world work for a living and their kids are fine. Meghan will be doing what most women do i.e work and take care of their kids, nothing new or different. By the way I am from Southern Africa and grew up with mum and Aunts that worked all their lives. My siblings, cousins and I are just fine.

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    2. I agree with your sentiments anon @ 1.24

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    3. Most kids have working parents. Archie has parents who will never work as much as most working parents with truly full-time jobs do. Not to mention that unlike most families, they can also afford top of the line nannies. So, I think he will be fine.

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  6. I really doubt that we will see baby Archie on work engagements. Maybe getting on or off the plane but that's it. And I agree that Meghan might do some solo engagements while Harry is away.
    I'm excited for this tour. I've been to Capetown and Johannesburg before. Capetown is gorgeous. On a shallow note...off to Google some South African designers Meghan might wear.

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    1. Becca H in Colorado27 June 2019 at 21:35

      I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't some sort of play date engagement arranged, like the Cambridges did with George in Australia.

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    2. But isn't 4/5 months too young for play dates? Don't babies that young mostly sleep? I think George was atleast a year old when they went on tour so he was more active and was able to interact with other babies.

      I think they are bringing Archie because they can't bear to leave him to the nanny for that long period of time or for however long the tour is. I don't think it's to showcase him to the public. As much as I would love to see Archie, I'm keeping my expectations low with regards to his public appearance. I think it's fine if they don't bring him on engagements.

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    3. Royal 👑 Watcher28 June 2019 at 01:31

      I would imagine that Archie would be getting quite interactive at 4-5 months. Fylly interactive might not really be possible, but babies usually love looking at each other and touching each others faces, laughing etc. They might even throw a toy or two at each other, who knows! Any one who has hd babies know that they don't really sleep all the time at all! Rather the opposite! I think my babies had three day sleeps by that age, but plenty of awake time. Meghan will be very busy with (breast) feeding and maybe Archie will be reaching out for a few veggies too, who knows. My babies started doing that between 4-6 months, very funny. Both my babies reached out for lamb chops and my son was crazy about salmon :-) It would be fun if we could see a bit more of Archie, fingers crossed.

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    4. Mae, Yes, Archie will be too young to participate in anything social. But perhaps we will get a view of him when they arrive and then leave Africa. Isn't it wonderful that the modern royals take their children with them, even if some of the care is with the nanny, who will accompany them? Diana started this trend when she took William at age nine months on a tour to Australia. The Queen left five year old Charles and three year old Anne for almost six months when she and Philip did a Commonwealth tour. Thank goodness times are changing.

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    5. Agreed, Mae. Archie will be way too young to really participate (like George did in Australia - a few months makes a huge difference). 4 months is also prime sleep regression age! I wouldn't be surprised if we see Meghan less frequently as a result.

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    6. I agree Mae. We might get pictures of him with animals but I honestly don’t see him in a setting with lots of people. For once because we definitely wouldn’t see much interaction (joining a baby class might be in the cards) and secondly because babies that young aren’t properly vaccinated at that point. He will not even have finished all shots of the first round. They shouldn’t feel the need to do stuff with him they wouldn’t do at home. I believe they mostly bring him because he is their baby, still very small and they don’t won’t to be apart from him. Not to give us opportunity to watch him like the newest attraction of the show. I sincerely hope we won’t see much of him till he is old enough to decide if he wants pursue a more public role. The Cambridge’s don’t have that luxury and it will be interesting to see how Kate and William ease their children into it. Hopefully they do take not from the Swedes.
      C.

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    7. As much as seeing Archie would be a treat, we must not forget how private M&H are about their family. They didn't publish Meghan's due date, they were very private about the birth, they are waiting to announce the christening, and foremost, they have chosen not to give Archie a royal title. I don't think they will now be eager to drag the baby around for show. After all, there is only the smallest chance that Archie will be a working royal so there is no need to expose him much.
      Ella

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    8. I agree with you Ella. As much as seeing Archie at some engagements would be fun for royal watchers, it would really be sending mixed messages out, after the way they took so much trouble to control the coverage around his birth.

      And I know it is an unpopular opinion but I am not a fan of royals taking kids on official engagements. Especially if they are not going to be working royals as adults. Once they are old enough to decide if they want to go it is different.

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    9. I assume they have to (as well as want to) bring the baby because she’s breastfeeding.

      CJ

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    10. I think it's best that parents decide whether to take their children with them when they travel....I try not to have an opinion about how people raise their kids...I wouldn't appreciate it if someone were to do that to me.

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    11. C, 921. It is very doubtful that we will see photos of Archie with animals, as you suggest. If the Sussexes go on a safari, to Kruger National Park, the animals are in the wild. There are zoos, but again, the animals and the situation are not conducive to close ups with babies. During the time I spent in various parts of Africa, I can't say that there were any opportunities be in photos with animals, unless it was a family's dog.

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    12. I would be very surprised if we saw Archie on official engagements. I agree with everyone who has mentioned the mixed messages that would bring up. I would love to see him but they have worked hard to make it clear that he is a private individual. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they choose to do the official arrival and departures without him (perhaps a nanny disembarks with him later), or maybe they will do no official arrival or departure pictures at all of them disembarking or boarding the plane, so that there aren't official pictures of Archie taken.
      It is interesting though - if he is a private individual, then will all of his costs for food, etc., be covered privately as well? If not, then there's an argument to be made that he should be seen once or twice since taxpayers will be covering his costs too (and of course I have no idea as to what will happen in regards to any of this - just speculating and hypothesizing).
      This also makes me think of something kind of related in terms of his status as a royal vs private individual - does anyone know if he has his own security team? I suppose right now he doesn't need a whole team because he's so young, but I do if he does/will get taxpayer funded security at all times, when for example Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie don't anymore. And neither does Sophie (except on engagements), and she's a working royal!

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    13. Anon with regards to your last question, I remember from the stories around the York Princesses that the first 6 in line to the throne have official protection. Which means that technically Archie does not qualify for protection in his own right. But I expect that while he is a minor he will have protection, the same way Meghan and Kate has protection (even though they are not in line to the throne).

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    14. Pictures with animals? Definitely not. Nature Reserves in SA are totally different from so called parks in other countries. One cannot take photos with wild animals. The Kruger Park for example is the same size as Israel and animals live in a natural habitat.

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  7. Becca H in Colorado27 June 2019 at 21:37

    This tour makes perfect sense, given the trajectory of their Commonwealth roles thus far. It also fits both Harry & Meghan so well. I'm excited to see the various engagements and the fashion, of course. I'm happy they're taking Archie -- it's not surprising that Harry, alone, will go on to Botswana, etc. I'll bet Archie will join his dad on those endeavors once he's a teenager!

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  8. Renee from South Africa27 June 2019 at 21:39

    This just made my day!!! I hope I get to see them!!!

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  9. We're going to see more of Archie

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  10. Good to have more details confirmed, the speculation was getting a bit too much. I have a feeling (and now I am the one speculating) that there was a lot of compromising between what the Sussexes originally wanted to do and coming to terms with the reality of life with a newborn.

    It is easy to say that all the rumours of a longer tour and even the two year project was purely made up by reporters, but more likely it was all ideas that was being thrown around. If you listen to the video of the High Commisioner he says “this will be a much shorter visit..” which implies that at some point they were looking at something longer.

    But it doesn’t matter now, they have come up with a plan that, at least to me, looks like a good and realistic program for a tour with a very young baby.

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    1. Like you said speculation. In my opinion, those rumors were meant to paint Meghan and Harry in a negative light and I don't think they were true. Every family life changes depending on what's going on in the family, this is normal to every family why would Meghan and Harry be different.

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    2. The audio i heard shows the high commissioner was responding to the reporter who referenced that it had been in the news that they might come for longer. hence he said it is days not months. So they were all responding to the speculation in the British papers

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    3. I've seen papers describe this tour as an introduction to the region before the possibility of something longer. A lot of followers are acting like this tour is what is actually happening instead of the longer trip that was speculated about, but the media, at least, has delineated this trip from the possible longer trip they talked about before. I obviously have no idea if the longer trip rumors were or are true, but I don't think this trip in any way disproves that a longer trip was being discussed, and is possibly still on the table. Wasn't it the Sunday Times that broke that story? They're usually a more respectable publication in terms of royal stories and generally have great sources it seems. And one of the reporters wasn't a typical RR if I remember correctly.

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  11. Wouldn't it be nice if Doria went along, to help with Archie, of course. :)

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    1. They have hired a nanny, so although Doria would be a nice addition, she actually does have a life in California. In spite of speculation, she has chosen her life in the USA, rather than moving to the UK or being part of royal life.

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    2. Yes it would! But they would be dragged in the media. The headlines would all say how it would be a taxpayer holiday for Doria (some twits on twitter are already saying Meghan is just going on holiday on this tour because she's not going with Harry to Malawi & Angola. Despite not having any clue on their actual itinerary yet they already have their claws out). I still remember some of the out cries when Doria attended the Together cookbook launch, and some ppl complained that she rode in the same taxpayer funded car as Harry and Meghan. Smdh.

      I actually thought that they would leave Archie at home and Doria would fly over and stay with him (and the nanny of course). But maybe Doria couldn't get away from work or they just didn't want to be apart from Archie.

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    3. Also, considering the vile commentary by Meghan’s paternal side of her family, they may cautious about how publicly Doria is involved in things. A damned if they do & damned if they don’t situation. Not looking forward to those relatives comments when not invited to the Baptism. Have been enjoying the recent respite from them.

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    4. Yes, there's the problem. Doria has her life in the US and she has a job with clients (although with this much notice, they could clear that time in her schedule). My thought was that whether or not Meghan intends to have some solo engagements, there will still be a few dinners that she'll have to attend and Archie seems so young to count on him not being upset, which would probably upset Meghan. Having granny there plus nanny would be great. Also thought Meghan would love to treat (personal expense, not the taxpayers') her mother to the trip.

      I figure there's a 99% chance Doria won't be included, but would still love to see her.

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    5. I agree. Doria lives her own life and I suspect has no desire to change it up simply because her daughter got married. Meghan is almost forty and has been living a very separate life from her parents for many years. (As is usual for most families even if you happened to be living in the same town)

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    6. Do Charles and Camilla ever babysit their grandchildren??

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    7. Oh god if Doria came along, the criticism would be un-ending. Also even if they paid for everything related to her privately, there would be some overlap inevitably that would get tricky. Like if they stay in an official residence as is often the case, then would Doria stay there too, or separately at a hotel? If the former, then they cannot really pay for that. If she ate the same meals as Meghan and Harry at the official residence, they can't really just pay for her then either.
      Also I know this is probably an unpopular opinion, but I thought that her attendance at the Together Cookbook launch was a PR mistake. She being there became the story instead of letting the focus be on the cookbook, and the amazing women of the Hub who kept their lives together after the devastating Grenfell fire. It was the launch and the cookbook was an utter surprise so this was really the first introduction to it entirely since they were so silent about it until the project was completely done, so I thought it unfortunate that so many of the headlines and stories about it focused on/started with the fact that Doria had come along. So I think for the tour as well, it's better to keep the focus on the causes as much as possible. They can afford the best nannies, so there's no real need for Doria to be there.

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  12. Pam from Boston28 June 2019 at 00:10

    Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is “the Foreign Office”?

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    1. Hello Pam,

      It's a government department. They request the majority of royal tours and visits abroad.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office

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    2. Pam from Boston28 June 2019 at 15:27

      Thank you, I've seen it mentioned before in regard to royal tours but never really thought about what exactly it is and its purpose.

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  13. It will be lovely to see Meghan and Harry touring together again. I think they are taking Archie because they wouldn't dream of leaving him to his nannny, or even with his granny. If the tour is September, Archie is still basically at the eat, sleep, and poop stage, although he could be teething. He wouldn't be crawling like George, who was quite a few months older on his parents' tour of Australia. Play dates would seem premature. I will expect to see Archie arriving and departing, but he won't be old enough to wave! He will be the star in his own christening, but it doesn't seem likely that he'll attend any events with his parents in South Africa. I'm assuming that Archie will have had all the necessary vaccinations required for infants.

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  14. Rita in Florida28 June 2019 at 02:28

    This is wonderful news! I also don’t expect we will see much of Archie but I don’t believe Meghan would leave him home if breastfeeding, which I would guess is the case.

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  15. I think this plan sounds reasonable. I was thinking that September might be too soon for Meghan and Archie, but this will give them the best of both worlds. Meghan and Archie can stay in South Africa do so more local engagements, Harry can come and go. I think Meghan will do a few solo engagements while he is doing his thing as well. It will be fun to see them back in action and with Archie in tow as well!!

    Hope from USA

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  16. I am so thrilled that they will be visiting home country! South Africa has sooo much to experience in terms of places and people but we are also rich in culture and resources... hence the term "rainbow nation". I know for sure that they will visit Cape Town and probably visit Robben Island, the former prison where Tata Mandela spent 27 years of his life.

    I hope that Kruger National Park is on their agenda or maybe even the Lion Park in KZN. It's a much more interactive place as visitors are free to drive themselves with elephants and lions coming up to your car window! They will love it :)

    I think I feel a "sick day" from work coming up later this year.. *cough cough* ;)

    Love Avee in SA

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    1. Zora from Prague28 June 2019 at 14:18

      Hope you get to see them, Avee, or at least follow as much coverage as possible! How exciting! :)
      I'm really looking forward to the Sussexes' trip and so glad they are taking Archie with them. I never believed they would be gone for a long time.
      And I'm curious about the blog header already! 😉

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    2. Thank you Zora! I sure do hope that I can see them at least just to pass on some good wishes to their lovely family :)

      Also, if I did get to see / meet them, how could I pass up the chance to let Meghan know about this fabulous blog and all the beautiful people here who support her ?! :)

      *Fingers crossed!*

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    3. Zora from Prague29 June 2019 at 16:32

      Yay! Fingers crossed! 😃
      Isn't it just marvellous that when they were in Australia and New Zealand, some of the readers here got to see them or were close to it, and now, the same can happen to other readers in SA or other places in Africa! So much fun comes from shared royal watchingI love being part of this international community! 😁

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  17. I have to give it to Meghan. She is such a trooper going on a tour 4/5 months postpartum just as she did in the early and late stages of her pregnancy. I think that the proposed schedule is taking into account her just coming back after giving birth as well as Archie's very young age in the autumn. The continuous travelling and changing environment will not be conducive to him settling. I applaud the Sussexes for trying to make it work for them as a new and young family. They are doing a great job supporting each other, the RF and the government who requested the tour.
    I am looking forward to it and i know it will be a great success.

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  18. Yippee!! 2 wonderful events to look forward too! First the christening, I'm hoping our first really good look at Archie, and secondly a royal tour. It's wonderful to have positive events to focus on and I'm very anxious to see my fashion muse again, it's been far too long :)

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  19. It’s funny, it looks like the first picture of Prince Harry courting a beautiful young woman (Meghan here). How cute and handsome this couple is. Of course I look forward to this tour and see the beautiful Archie.

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    1. The first photo of this post is my new favorite!!! He is besotted with her, it's lovely to see!

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  20. looking forward to it.

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  21. Looking forward to it. Thanks, Charlotte.

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  22. Looking forward to this tour! I do think it is a bit of a shame that the end of Meghan's maternity leave will begin with substantial time spent overseas. I know it's not her fault, and a lot of it isn't fixable because people are just intimidated by strong, confident women, especially black women, but I think it would be nice for them, especially her, to spend time focusing on Britain, and perhaps help her build even more of a connection with the British public. So much of their work has been centered around the Commonwealth, and that's great, but ultimately, the British public pays for their security and their home, and ultimately, they serve the British public, along with the people of other countries who also still recognize HM as their monarch. And especially since she's still relatively quite new to the country she now serves, she should continue to get to know it better. Of course none of this is mutually exclusive with this tour, and to be fair I suppose I'm basing some of this off of the Cambridges who have a tendency to do a tour and then disappear for a long while especially earlier in their royal careers, so I guess as long as Meghan doesn't do that, she can do this tour and also substantially continue her introduction to Britain. And this frustration perhaps is more with Harry, who has always seemed to be more interested in overseas ventures than he is in doing the nitty gritty of royal engagements at home in Britain.
    Anyways, I am surprised Meghan and Archie are touring with him still so young. She is certainly a hard worker, touring so soon after giving birth, and with such a young baby to boot!

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  23. Archie’s name had become very much his own especially after that photo of him which seemed looking at the world, and peering at the observer. I already have a soft heart for him and looking forward to see him. Gone is my immediate association of the name Archie with US family sit com. Archie seems to fit him by now; to expect the name Archibald had also faded.
    The couple as a team and also individually continues to be interesting. Meghan’s absence these days kind of allows pausing and digesting in what way she is inspiring. I revisited some of the panel discussions she was involved in. She can be inspiring, had been strong headed, passionate, bright, thinks on her feet, determined and solid, well before she met Harry. The tabloids know what works to their own advantage, and the trolls get a kick out of commenting their bias, UK Republicanism, current world nationalism, hostility and at times pure envy. If it used to be against DOC and/or BRF, now the best target is Meghan, and at times the couple. The couple help generate over a 1000 clicks in a matter of hours. I wish them well with their upcoming tour of Africa, It makes a lot of practical sense Meghan and Archie will do less traveling. There seems to be part traditional and part modern arrangement with their family unit tour in autumn / fall.

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  24. A baby between 4 and 5 months old can be awake anywhere from 7 to 10 hours a day, although it has to be broken up with regular naps. At this stage they start laughing at stuff, and it's fun to start teaching them to "converse" with you. They also like toys and can yell loudly if something's taken away that they want. They can be anywhere on the spectrum of being somewhat immobile if placed on the stomach, to rolling over, to creeping a little, and even bearing weight on their legs when held in a standing position. They usually can sit up, but most don't have good balance yet. They're definitely still breast-feeding or on formula, although a bit of solid food certainly can be introduced if they take to it, but the milk is the most important food. (My son loved to suck on dill pickles and would always laugh at them!) Also, I noticed that four months is when most babies in the USA have a well-child visit that includes second rounds of vaccinations.

    I expect we will see Meghan at several shorter events and maybe for one longer dinner or something, but I doubt they'll have Archie at anything formal. Still, it will be fine if they can arrange something appropriate. It will be a great tour, however they arrange the logistics. I'm really looking forward to the sentimentality of Harry's visit to Botswana

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  25. Thank you for your always positive coverage. I made the mistake of reading some scurrilous nonsense and it made me so sad. This brings me back into the fun of royal watching!

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  26. I am excited for this tour and for the baby's christening. of course meghan is getting criticized online for bringing a newborn to africa because it could get diseases :/

    thanks as always Charlotte for your hard work

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  27. This is going to be unpopular but I've always found the long royal tours where royals visit former British colonies where there is a lot of poverty and income inequality to be rather cringeworthy in terms of optics, and I felt the same way about William and Kate's tours, as well as Charles, Diana, and any other member of the BRF.

    This "ooh, these darling foreign colonies with their native cultures showing the royals how they live, how adorable" aspect of royal tours always seems so condescending, as doe the inevitable fawning "roll out the red carpet" treatment the royals get. It harkens to a time in the British empire when colonies were repressed economically and socially.

    I felt the same way when William and Kate did their big tour of India. There was nothing worse than William and Kate touring India in their designer clothes and playing cricket in high heels while India still struggles with extreme poverty and income inequality. These tours are always incredibly tone deaf that way.

    This doesn't mean royals shouldn't travel and do good works around the world. I agree that is part of their job. But go ... with a purpose. Don't just go on a three week tour and get feted and honored everywhere. Diana traveled the world to campaign against land mines.

    Again, just my opinion.

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    1. Hi Ivy, I like reading your thought provoking posts.

      This is a tough one because the host countries go out of their way to be welcoming and put out the red carpet. Host nations naturally want to show off their very best. The officials are often bedecked in their best for formal occasions. Less formal ones call for more casual wear. The visiting royals are expected to show up dressed befitting the occasion to honor and mingle with the country elites and commoners alike. Certainly the royals dress up and down depending on the event, but with all eyes on them, I suspect you aren’t going to get travel stained, wrinkly clothes.

      There certainly is extreme wealth inequity at play here. When working overseas for a number of years in Asia and Africa, I’m mindful of that. I’m not wealthy by western standard, but among the people I worked and lived with, I am. At work, I’m in scrubs. In official meetings with the big cheese, I trot out my one and only linen/ cotton suit. Most of the time I wore what’s comfortable and conservative, being mindful of what’s culturally appropriate.

      I think these royals do the best that they can on these overseas jaunt. Diana was in short sleeves, khaki and protective gear when visiting areas with land mines. On other occasions, she was in heels and fancy dresses.

      I think it’s this weird reconciliation I must do when thinking of the royals visiting former colonies. I guess I have to remember time, thank goodness, isn't static. If a better, more equitable and mutually beneficial relationship can come out of today’s Commonwealth, then I’ll take it. It doesn’t erase the brutal history and messy geopolitical aftermath of British colonialism/imperialism. Nations are still fighting over borders because of it. I don’t think the goal is to whitewash the past, but more about how countries can move forward together toward a mutually beneficial relationship. If allied nations can go in and rebuild Germany and Japan post WW2 and today Vietnam welcomes US investments and diplomatic and economic relationship, then the Commonwealth represents a similar opportunity.

      - Martine

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    2. Which I so agree with. Well said.

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    3. There is a very big and vocal decolonization movement in South Africa at the moment and I expect that we will hear quite a lot from them as more info about the tour is released.
      Hopefully Harry and Meghan’s current popularity and the excitement that always accompany a royal tour will be enough. Royal tours are definitely not universally liked in South Africa (can’t talk for other countries)

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  28. I wish that Meghan was able to accompany Harry to the Lion King premiere, but have read some interesting possibilities of her going to Wimbledon and then the family going to Balmoral for her birthday. Is this really the first time they've been to Balmoral? I suspect they must have been last year and just didn't tell us about it. :)

    I am so looking forward to seeing a somewhat-older baby Archie! I would expect to see him just arriving and leaving and maybe inside at their home base. I know little about where they are visiting, so I'm looking forward to learning a lot.

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  29. Meghan is going to attend the MLB/Invictus Games event tonight with Harry!!!! *squeals*

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  30. Alaina from NJ29 June 2019 at 19:16

    It’s always exciting knowing a tour of coming up and I think this one will be a little extra special because they have both spoken of how special Africa is to them. I’m not surprised they are taking Archie and creating a “home base” for Harry to travel back and forth - I also wouldn’t be surprised if Meghan did an engagement or two solo. If they are planning on bringing a nanny, she would be able to get away for a few hours and it may be good for her to also take a break from mommy mode.

    As for Doria, she is free to travel wherever she would like and I’m sure she does take vacation from time to time. She’s a private U.S. citizen (yes, I know being Meghan’s mom adds a lot of extra interest in her) and we do have flights that will get you to Africa and back. If she would like to join them for part of their tour or all of it, I don’t see how it is anyone’s business. I think at some point in time, everyone in my family has traveled with our grandparents at least once - it’s not uncommon.

    I’m sure we will see photos from the Christening but I’m also wondering if they haven’t shown us many photos of Archie because they are waiting to have photos taken in Africa. How wonderful would it be to have some of the first family photos they share with us be taken in a country so special to them?

    We’ll just have to wait and see.

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  31. Im always exctited to the tour did they want to bring archie is the best they bring doria along with them to help the duchess whatever she need her

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