Every royal tour serves a purpose. Each one significant, meticulously planned and organised to deploy the Royal family as ambassadors overseas to strengthen bonds and, in these Brexit times, deploy a touch of soft diplomacy. In Harry and Meghan's Commonwealth roles, overseas trips are a key element of their work. A three-pronged approach between the Palace, the Foreign Office and the host countries saw a "meaningful" itinerary come to life supporting the causes closest to Harry and Meghan's hearts, promoting UK-Africa relations and continuing the Royal family's legacy in the Commonwealth.
A senior official from the Foreign office told Rebecca English: "They are a diverse couple, they represent modern Britain. They are also modern, forward thinking, dynamic young people. Everyone is extraordinarily excited about this visit."
Victoria Murphy reports the Sussexes are travelling with a staff of thirteen. Trusted aide Samantha Cohen will wrap up her time with the couple as she leads the tour and shows their new private secretary Fiona Mcilwham the ropes. Assistant secretary Heather Wong, communications secretary Sara Latham, project coordinator Clara Madden, along with a logistics coordinator, travel director and a personal assistant travelled over. Harry and Meghan are privately paying for Archie's nanny and a hairdresser for the trip.
During a media briefing in Cape Town yesterday, the British High Commissioner to South Africa told journalists: "Visits like this play an important part in celebrating, sustaining and renewing what is a dynamic, modern relationship between the UK and South Africa. It’s also an opportunity to shine a spotlight on some issues close to the hearts of the duke and duchess and of real importance to the South Africans. It will also be a chance to underline the strength and continuity of our Royal family’s ties to South Africa. And in particular to recall the warm and special relationship between her majesty the Queen and the late President Mandela."
More from People:
'They “are very much looking forward to their arrival in Africa tomorrow on their first official tour as a family,” a palace source tells PEOPLE 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.”
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.'
Cape Town, colloquially known as the Mother City, is a legislative capital of South Africa. The port city is on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the commanding Table Mountain.
Harry and Meghan's first engagement of the tour took them to Nyanga, known as the murder capital of the country. They were warmly welcomed with music and dancing by a host of locals. The video below is packed with fantastic moments.
Prince Harry shows off his dance moves :)
A hug was in order when one adorable little boy came over to say Hello :)
Meghan was embraced by elders.
The dancing Duchess.
Harry and Meghan getting into the spirit.
Harry loved meeting locals.
President of QCT, The Duke of Sussex, meets with members of the local Nyanga community here in Cape Town. #TeamQCT #SussexRoyalTour pic.twitter.com/eKAFij2ePC— The Queen's Commonwealth Trust (@queenscomtrust) September 23, 2019
They viewed the work of The Justice Desk, a non-profit supported by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust.
They visited a workshop that educates children about their rights and safety, and provides self defence and female empowerment training for young girls in the community.
More from The Telegraph:
'The Royal couple observed the Mbokodo Girls’ Empowerment programme, which teaches self-defence classes to girls who have suffered “major trauma”. The project’s motto is ‘waithint’ abafazi wathint’imbokodo’ (when you strike a women; you strike a rock).
Supporting women and girls is at the heart of much of Meghan's work. An aide told the Telegraph she is keen to display "actions not words" throughout the visit. They added "she wants to be really engaged: this is important to her". With that focus in mind, it came as no surprise to hear Meghan address violence against women in South Africa directly for her first speech of the tour. Meghan addressed the group and said: "On one personal note, may I just say that while I am here with my husband as a member of the Royal family I want you to know that I am here as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour, and as your sister." The video below includes footage of both Harry and Meghan's powerful speeches.
More on her speech from The Telegraph:
'The Duchess said: "We are encouraged to hear your President take the next step towards preventing gender-based violence through education and necessary changes to reinforce the values of modern South Africa.
"I have to say I feel incredibly humble to be in the presence of all of you as you stand firm in your core values of respect, dignity and equality.
"I read a quote a few weeks ago and it resonated with me as I've been watching what's been happening here and your efforts. Maya Angelou, the legendary poet and civil right activist, once said: 'Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it, possibly without claiming it, she stands up for all women'.
"Now I know it's not easy and I know it must feel insurmountable at times. But your commitment to what is right gives all of us hope. Especially your brothers and sisters here in your community who need you to continue to shine your light brightly. Your commitment is inspiring, it is energising, and it is extraordinary . You must keep going. You must know that what you're doing not only matters, it is vital because you are vital.
"And just on one personal note, may I just say that while I am here with my husband as a member of the Royal family, I want you to know that I am here as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour, and as your sister.
"I am here with you and I am here for you and thank you for showing us your Ubuntu [spirit of togetherness]."
Prince Harry also spoke passionately about gender violence. "No man is born to cause harm to women this is learned behaviour and a cycle that needs to be broken. Your strength is in your spirit, which for me means honouring and protecting my wife, and being a positive role model for my son. 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 honouring and protecting my wife, and being a positive role model for my son." Harry continued "Meghan and I are truly inspired by your resilience, your spirit, your sense of community, and your belief in a better future for everyone here."
Rebecca English reports:
'South Africa has been hit by nationwide protests over the past few weeks after a series of murders of women, and the country’s president has admitted that he is struggling to cope with the crisis.
Among the murders was that of Uyinene Mrwetyana, 19, a student from Cape Town who was raped and bludgeoned to death with a set of scales in a post office. The violence involved in her murder sparked national outrage. Women’s minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said this week that more than 30 women were killed by their spouses last month alone.
On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an emergency plan to stop the resurgence in violence against women. During an emergency sitting in the National Assembly, he admitted that South Africa was one of ‘the most unsafe places in the world to be a woman’.
'Gender-based violence has reached undeniably alarming levels in South Africa. It is absolutely unacceptable that women feel they have to watch what they wear in public and be careful about where they are seen socialising, for fear that they may face violent reprisals including rape or even death.'
South Africa is one of the most violent places in the world for women and girls. The statistics make for horrifying reading. The South African Police Service revealed 80% of sexual offences reported in recent years were rape. Statistics SA noted the rates of femicide (murder of females) in the country were more than five times the global average. In response to the epidemic of attacks and assaults, South African women took to social media and shared their heartbreaking stories as part of the #AmINext campaign. Using the hashtag, they shared experiences and fears.
More from The Queen's Commonwealth Trust: "As President and Vice-President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, The Duke and Duchess are keen to use their time in Cape Town and beyond to highlight the work of young leaders mobilising positive change in their communities. They both have a longstanding belief in young people and passionately support their ability to spark change through their leadership, passion and creative ideas."
Before they departed, Archie was given the name of Ntsika, a traditional Xhosa name which means pillar of strength.
Victoria Murphy reports:
'Both the Duke and Duchess made powerful speeches at the event before they were presented with a hoodie for Archie and his traditional name was announced. “They said they absolutely loved it. They said thank you so much. They wanted to put on the hoodie and I said ‘Harry that’s too small for you.’ They loved the fact that our presents were for Archie...They love the fact that they’ve brought him here and they can’t wait for him to experience the country,” Dewhurst said of Harry and Meghan's response to the gift.
She added, “For them to come here, it’s them saying that this work is so important they believe in it and they’re encouraging us to keep going and working hard.”
Jessica met Harry after receiving her Queen’s Young Leaders medal for the organization’s work in 2016. She said, “Her Majesty introduced me to Harry and they’ve all just kept tabs with us.”
For her first look of the tour, the Duchess chose the £69 Dalitso Maxi Wrap Dress by Malawi based brand Mayamiko.
More on the brand and their ethos: "Established by Paola Masperi, Mayamiko The Label is an ethical and sustainable woman's wear and life style brand, producing clothes, accessories and homeware, lovingly made in Malawi by our team of tailors, pattern cutters and seamstresses. Our collections are cross-seasonal and are inspired by African artisanal traditions and prints, with ethical trading and sustainability at our core. Our collections are designed for the global modern woman, while giving ode to their birthplace through the use of traditional African techniques and local printed fabrics, locally referred to as Chitenje. We strongly believe that ethical and sustainable production is the only acceptable way of producing, and feel that shopping ethically should not compromise the quality or design of the product but rather enhance and add value to it."
More from Mayamiko:
'Mayamiko works in partnership with Mayamiko Trust, a charity set up by Paola in 2008 after her extensive travels in Africa. Mayamiko aims to help the most disadvantaged people in Malawi by nurturing their creative talents and turning them in to sustainable activities that could be transferable to trade practices. Lifting people out of poverty and towards a better future.
The Charity and brand work together through the Mayamiko Fashion Lab where our garments are made. The Mayamiko Fashion Lab was designed to provide training, education, nutrition, sanitation and fairer trade practices to all of those involved. The project currently provides training in sewing and tailoring as well as financial and business skills to local, disadvantaged women, many of whom are affected by the HIV pandemic or who are carers of HIV orphans. After their training all trainees receive a recognised qualification as well as mentoring, guidance and access to a micro-finance scheme, enabling them to start their own business.'
Meghan teamed the dress with her Castaner Carina wedges. They are available in an array of colours at Net-A-Porter.
A closer look at Meghan's jewellery today.
It appears Meghan wore Jennifer Meyer's diamond bezel and turquoise marquise stud earrings.
Harry and Meghan were presented with 'The Justice Desk' bracelets by local children. It's available, along with a number of other items, on their online store.
Next, the Duke and Duchess will visit the District Six Museum to learn about their work reuniting community members forcibly relocated during the apartheid era. The day will conclude with a community cooking activity with former residents of District Six at the nearby Homecoming Centre.