Wednesday, 2 October 2019

"You Have Given Us Joy": The Sussexes Say Goodbye to South Africa

They say all good things come to and end... That was very much the case as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrapped up their ten-day tour of South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Malawi with several engagements in Johannesburg today.

Following a visit to the Tembisa Township this morning, where they visited several initiatives tackling unemployment, it was back to Archie briefly before travelling to meet to meet Graca Machel, widow of the late Nelson Mandela. The anti-apartheid revolutionary and former president met with several members of the Royal family over the years, including the Queen, and Charles and Diana. Harry and Meghan were delighted to honour his legacy today.

Harry last met Mrs Machal during his 2015 visit to the country.

They had a lovely chat with Mrs Machel who told them she hoped to work with them in the future, saying: "I can feel the vibe." Roya Nikkhah reports they discussed their time apart. Meghan said: "I've been holding things down on this side." Whilst Harry told her he'd been in several countries.

Graca told Harry it's been "wonderful" seeing him retrace his mother's footsteps in Angola.

Afterwards, they attended a reception celebrating the UK and South Africa's business and investment relationship. Guests included South African investors and entrepreneurs. They also met representatives from Meghan's patronage the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

We've heard several powerful and inspiring speeches from both Harry and Meghan throughout the tour. In some ways, I think, Meghan saved the best for last, delivering deeply moving words on how heavily the death of Uyinene weighed on her, feeling powerless, and sharing hope for the future: "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."

The entire speech is available in the video below at 16.00.

Meghan's full speech:

'Thank you for yet another wonderful welcome, I can’t believe it’s almost time to say goodbye to this country. 
From the moment we arrived we were greeted by the rhythm and energy of the Mbokodo girls in Nyanga - and I knew that this trip was going to be something incredibly special. So, just begin by saying thank you to all of the people we’ve met - on behalf of both of us, and of course Archie - we are so grateful. This trip has meant so much to us as a family, but also to me personally.
As you know, reading about the death of Uyinene, and hearing about the protests weighed heavily on my mind. Gender based violence is a harrowing reality for many women around the world. And for some, like the beautiful and talented Uyinene, this violence has taken women from us who have - who had - a life full of hope and dreams ahead of them. Yet if there is any possible hope in this situation, if there is some sliver of light, it is that people are paying attention like never before.
The recent crisis has sparked a much-needed conversation in South Africa, and the world is listening. I met a group of young girls yesterday who wanted to talk to me about their experience. Some of which was harrowing. 
Yet despite everything they had been through, they said the saddest thing was to watch the continued degradation of women, and that they wanted to be part of a movement where both women and men play a role in turning that around.
As someone who has been a long-time advocate of women's and girls’ rights, I worried about what was happening and my intention on this tour was to meet with women across South Africa to listen and to learn.
So from students to politicians, from apartheid campaigners of the 50s to teenagers on a beach, from the mothers with HIV providing health care to their community, and to the entrepreneurs who are driving the businesses of the future - they all showed me a power and a solidarity that, in this moment, in this time, all women, and all people, can take strength and inspiration from. Because these amazing African women have discovered self-belief and found their worth. 
At our visit this earlier this morning I was struck by a small sign that was posted on the wall for the female entrepreneurs – and it said: “visualize your highest self, and show up as her”. This is the spirit of the women and girls I have met on this trip.
They are not defining themselves by how they compare to others, or making their success and marking it against historical expectations. They are simply paving their own path, they have their own voice, and they are being listened to.
And as I’ve said before, I firmly believe that all women have a voice, they just need to feel empowered to use it, and people need to feel encouraged to listen. There is a role for all of us here. As women we can listen to one another, and lift each other up, we can raise our boys to be men who value women. And for men and boys, you can lead by example and not let your mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and girlfriends ever feel that they are lesser than you.
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.
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.
In a world that that can seem so aggressive, confrontational, and dangerous, you should know that you have the power to change it. Because whether you’re here in South Africa, at home in the UK or the US, or around the world, you actually have the power within you to change things, and that begins with how you connect to others.
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.
Over the past 10 days our family has had emotional moments, we’ve has poignant moments, we’ve had spiritual moments; we’ve met inspirational leaders in every walk of life, and we’ve been treated to incredible food, music, and dancing, but above all, we have been able to meet the people that are the rocks behind the sort of work that really means a so much to us. It has been affirming to learn that we’re not alone in the things that we believe in, and the principles we hold so dear.
No matter how different our lives may seem - Africa, you have made us feel part of your community, of our shared community.
On our visit to the Mosque in Bo Kapp, one of the women told us that the way we change the world is to honour the dignity of difference. And in this we can find strength. When we can bridge divides, and meet, as human beings with different experiences, we can all find connection – and in that connection we become more aware of one another, more aware of our place in the world. We find hope, and self-worth, we can find optimism and courage, and ultimately, we can find joy.
So whether for Harry, Archie and me in South Africa, or for my husband as he was travelling Botswana, Angola and Malawi, please know that you have all given us so much inspiration, so much hope - and above all, you have given us joy.'

Finally, Harry and Meghan met President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife Dr Tshepo Motsepe.

They exchanged gifts including artwork and Meghan gave the couple a copy of Together: Our Community Cookbook.

High Commissioner Nigel Casey shared a photo of the Duke and Duchess with the President and Dr Motsepe at Mahlamba Ndlopfu. A beautiful image closing the tour.

The Duchess wore her sleeveless blush House of Nonie trench dress. It was a very thoughtful choice as she first wore it in July 2019 to officially open the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition at Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The $1,085 dress by the Canadian ethical brand is described as: "A light trench coat from the Nonie SS18 collection. This sleeveless trench is cut from a stretchy mid-weight cotton blend fabric and features an open detail in the back and front tying straps."

People spoke to the founder of the brand:

"Nina Kharey, Founder & Creative Director of NONIE, tells PEOPLE: “I’m honored she chose to wear the sleeveless trench dress again and it’s amazing to know she keeps this piece in her closet as a staple. She styled the garment very similar to the first appearance, looking effortlessly chic for her last day in South Africa!”

 Meghan wore her favourite Stuart Weitzman Legend pumps in haze beige.

Meghan accessorised with the Jennifer Meyer turquoise stud earrings she's worn on a number of occasions during the tour.

And the matching ring.

And the Alemdara Handad bracelet which has served as another staple piece over the past week. It is crafted from 18ct gold and features a navy enamel eye circled with diamonds on both sides on a delicate rose gold chain.

To view today's earlier post please click here. Meghan wore a cream shirtdress by South African designer Hannah Lavery.

And that brings the royal tour to a close. As we've seen in Ireland, Australia, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand and Morocco, when it comes to representing the Royal family abroad, Harry and Meghan do supremely well. For me, they brought it to the next level in southern Africa. At times it was as if we were watching seasoned diplomats at work. They navigated each engagement and every stop, with professionalism and grace.

Meghan didn't shy away from addressing one of the toughest issues in South Africa and for that she should be commended. Gender violence levels are at breaking point, women across the country have taken to the streets to protest with a clear message: we have had enough. Meghan took that message across the globe during the tour. From visiting the post office where nineteen-year-old student Uyinene so brutally lost her life, to meeting children and teenagers who have been the victims of sexual and domestic violence, Meghan has shown us how serious she is about her role.

Hearing so many young women speak out in praise of Meghan's work and how much it meant to them sealed what was already a runaway success of a royal tour. The Duchess purposefully chose a working wardrobe full of affordable staples and repeats to avoid another onslaught about the cost of her clothes. This tour was all about the work, every step of the way.

The Sussexes will return to the UK with Archie tonight. As we know, they are taking legal action against The Mail On Sunday. Undoubtedly we'll see endless arsenic-laced comment pieces and stories emerge. It's worth remembering, Harry and Meghan have done their best to work with the media during the tour. We've seen and heard far more than we would on most royal tours. Several brief interviews, Harry writing for the Telegraph, Meghan talking candidly, and a photo opportunity with Archie. At the end of the day, the only aspect that should be judged is their work. Over the past ten days they have done themselves, the Queen and the UK proud.

It's been a truly special tour for me to cover personally. Hearing the experiences of women in South Africa on the blog and from others who got in touch moved me to tears on more than one occasion. As women, we absolutely must support one another - a message Meghan conveyed every step of the way. A special mention to James Whatling, Stephen Lock, Andrew Parsons and all the photographers who did an outstanding job covering all the events. Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who followed the tour on Mad About Meghan, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.


  1. Bravo, Charlotte! Your coverage of the tour has been top-notch! You are a talented writer and researcher who writes with style and grace. I admire the integrity that you demonstrate and encourage here. Thank you for being a light in this world!

    1. All I can say is, I agree!

    2. Wonderful work, Charlotte. Truly grateful for you taking on this challenging endeavour and for doing it with such professionalism and grace.


  2. HOPE.. Both of them radiates HOPE. LOVE... They are walking, talking, LOVE...

  3. Thank you Charlotte! I love reading about the tour and outfits but I also love hearing your opinions. Thank you!

  4. Thank you for coverage :)

  5. I think this tour was a success. I think it is unfair to expect people to only judge them on their work- they are more than just celebrities who perform for a role and retreat to their "private" lives. They are public servants, Royals, whose lives are partially funded by the public. While I will concede that they have had an onslaught of negative press, much of that press was calling out less than stellar, maybe even hypocritical, behavior. And a lot of the cruel comments (at least lately) are in the comment sections of these articles, not so much the articles themselves. In our world, optics matter. In our world, nothing is secret or even private. I will not opine here about the fairness of that. It just is a reality. For a couple that is in the public eye, they are judged by a much harsher standard that the rest of us, and that must be considered with every move they make. I believe this to be unfortunate, but it is the reality in which they find themselves.

    Meghan and Harry have much to offer. They really could be a power couple making an even more powerful impact on the causes so near and dear to them. Right now, they are in an image mess- whether they deserve it or not, it's a mess. They really overshadowed the amazing work they did on this tour with this lawsuit statement. It will forever be linked with this tour and that is truly unfortunate.

    1. I agree with your sentiments exactly.

    2. British citizens pay the equivalent of $1.24US apiece annually to support the entire monarchy. That doesn’t buy a whole lot of “ kick me again” to me. The lawsuit is entirely necessary given the way they have been abused by a bunch of lying trash media. I disagree vehemently that their legal action overshadowed this brilliant tour.

    3. I agree with you.

    4. I have to disagree, the only “image mess” is the one created and expanded upon by the tabloid press. Harry and Meghan have handled themselves since day one of their relationship with dignity and aplomb. I also disagree that this lawsuit will be forever linked to this tour, their powerful words of support and inspiration will be what is remembered.

    5. It's sad that after all the amazing work they've done on this tour and all the important issues that were highlighted all you can take away is their supposed "image mess". The tour was way too impactful for me to have a (necessary) media statement overshadow it. I will be the first to say Harry and Meghan aren't perfect (along with all the other royals and every one of us), but the media's goal is to minimize the good they do an amplify and exaggerate the negatives. No matter what they do it will still be the same. If we read between the lines and are honest with ourselves we all know what the reasons for that are that I won't repeat.


  6. I think we have 1 more event today and that's it...I can't believe it. Too fast. Charlotte thank you so much

  7. Cheers to Meghan, Harry and their whole team! What an amazing and enlightening tour! Cheers and many thanks to you Charlotte for all your hard work! Your blog has always been a beacon of light, giving life, and hope in a world full of journalistic jackassery and bigotry. I am left feeling so hopeful for humanity and inspired to take steps myself and try to do more to help.

  8. Thank you Charlotte for your wonderful work! This tour was a big win for Meghan and Harry and, even if I'm not always a Meghan fan, she was great during this days.

  9. Wow! It's difficult for me to find words to express my admiration for Harry and Meghan. Charlotte, you described them as similar to watching "seasoned diplomats at work." I think that captures it. What a powerful tour! What warmth, passion, commitment, respect, and gratitude! They have truly inspired me, and so many others. How can one not love them?

    Being immerced in the positivity resonating from them through all the people they engaged with and all people of good will watching, it's difficult to understand the people who continue their campaign of negativity toward them. May they find some joy in their lives.

    Charlotte, you have magnified the impact of this incredible tour so much with your fabulous coverage. I am so grateful.


  10. Charlotte i follow You here in Cameroon. You are very marvelous, this job is excellent and you are also a beautiful model like woman, like duchess of Sussex. Bigs hugs.

  11. Thank you, Charlotte, for your splendid coverage of the tour. I, too, appreciate your depth of talent, probity, style and grace. Well done.

    1. Perfectly said, Philly 21:03!

  12. What a wonderful coverage!
    I so appreciate the post by the DDoS on Grace Marcel, they first identified her in her own worth rather than first as the widow of Legendary Nelson Mandela. I personally did not know she was a human right activist and while her late husband's achievements far exceeds hers, it's so good to acknowledge her own with that post; making people aware of her own commitments. God bless you HRH the Sussexes.
    There is NOTHING good and true and new that has not being mocked/opposed in this life (AC electricity, planes etc) but unshakable knowledge in vision will always bring good success.
    As far as you can see, may The Good and Faithful LORD give unto you for good success.

  13. This is truly beautifully written! Thank you so much for your amazing coverage of the tour. I’ve read all of your blogs. Beautifully, beautifully done. And, what a powerful speech by the incredible woman that is Duchess Meghan Markle! Thank you!

  14. This blog post is a fantastic conclusion to the tour. How much we have learned throughout it! Thank you for this positive place.

  15. It was a beautiful 10 day in south Africa for Prince Harry and Dutchess Megan and baby Archie ... They work so hard and had lots of fun can't wait to see what next for the Sussexes ...

  16. Caroline in Montana2 October 2019 at 21:32

    Thank you Charlotte for taking us along on this tour! I learned so much about the different causes and issues going on in south Africa. I love your blogs! I hope you can get some rest between tours!

  17. First time reader....loved your article but most importantly I come away inspired not only by your graceful article but by the power of Megan's words especially in the mist of all that they are facing. Thank you, it was a great read.

  18. Charlotte,

    Thank you for this (and all) the fantastic work you do! You truly made this tour even more enjoyable to follow.

    Meghan and Harry deserve kudos. As some have said in other posts, they have nothing to prove and have truly shown how hard they work and how much they care.

    Happy to see my favorite trench dress back :)


  19. I loved every minute of it! Thank you for all the work Charlotte!

  20. It has been a great tour and you have outdone yourself in your coverage, many thanks.
    I have been to South Africa and it is a really wonderful country, it gets under your skin and nothing compares! It is a vibrant and colourful place but it is a young democracy facing many, many challenges. This tour has demonstrated its strengths and it’s weaknesses.
    Meghan has done really well, and with a four month old baby in the background! She seems to be a warm and genuine person who connects with everyone she meets. As you say, this tour has not been about the fashion at all but she has looked lovely. I love that she still has her ‘baby’ curviness.

  21. Thank you so much, Charlotte, for your coverage of this tour on this blog. Nowhere else could I have received such insightful and in-depth information in such a cohesive format, complete with pictures and videos. I have learned so much about women's issues and I thank you for that opportunity. God bless. Marla from NH

  22. I echo Ms. Cuppa! What an emotional tour for the Sussexes. I am deeply moved by the significance that Harry brought his wife and son to a country that suffered the evil of apartheid, where Meghan's birth would have been a crime, (terms used by Trevor Noah in his book) and Harry and Meghan's love and their child also a crime. By virture of her birth, Meghan was welcomed, and she chose this country to speak publicly for the first time about her bi-racial heritage. I was also touched that Harry and Meghan took Archie to meet the Desmond Tutu, and it was moving to see him bless that beautiful baby with a kiss. It was wonderful that they could introduce Archie again in a moment of such grace and pleasure for everyone.

  23. Thank you for your wonderful coverage, Charlotte! I hope the Team Sussex staff are reading your respectful and informative posts and appreciating what you have created.
    As for Meghan’s speech -wow!

  24. Thank you so very much! It’s been wonderful to read about the tour and learn more about Africa and the causes that that need the world’s attention. And the fashion details are an added bonus!

  25. Honestly you did an amazing job covering the tour. Thank you for keeping us updated. All of Harry and Meghan's tours I feel have been widely successful but as you mentioned this was on another level. It's amazing how they're both able to connect with people so easily. They're an asset, not only for the royal family, the UK and the USA but for the whole entire world. God bless them and their beautiful baby boy.

  26. Thank you very much, Charlotte, for the incredible coverage of the Southern Africa Tour of the The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and Baby Archie.

    Following the Tour on this page was a treat. Again, thank you.

  27. Meghan has played an absolute stormer on this tour!! Warm, engaging, articulate and caring, and most importantly has drawn attention to some really, really important issues. And Archie was a dream!!

    (Haven’t been a fan of the fashion choices).

  28. As always Charlotte, you’ve done an incredible job covering this tour! Many thanks!

  29. Kudos Bravo Extraordinary Excellent
    That’s you Charlotte. Thank you for taking me to South Africa. The sights and sounds of the country was not what I expected. Next tour: CARIBBEAN
    Thank You

  30. They are wonderful ambassadors for a thousand year-old monarchy, making it modern, genuine, compassionate. As George grows up, I hope he learns from his own parents, but also from his aunt and uncle, who are bringing Diana’s best qualities into a new century in which he will reign.

  31. Fantastic coverage of the tour, Charlotte, thank you!

  32. I think this has been a phenomenally successful tour on all levels. I
    Love your commentary. It is articulate, intelligent and informative!! Glad I found you!! Thank you!!

  33. Meghan's latest speech is inspiring. If we all tried to do as she suggested, to treat the people within our circles with dignity, respect, and kindness, the entire world would benefit. I so like listening to Meghan.

  34. Charlotte thanks for your hard work. I have to say this was a lovely tour. They looked beautiful and need to go home and rest. They are a truly inspirational couple. Nice to see them with Mrs. Mandela.

  35. Really enjoyed this tour as it was filled with smaller, more intimate engagements. It’s obvious a great deal of work went in to make this tour seamless and well integrated, so kudos to the big team of people involved. We got to see the Sussexes at work and saw all kinds of people engaging in big and small projects, doing their best to make a positive difference.

    It’s such a place of great contrast and vivid hues, of great beauty and exuberance alongside old scars and fresh wounds. Certain moments of this tour were emotional and raw and didn’t shy from the hard stuff. Seeing how people face their challenges with such mettle and fierceness impressed the heck out of me.

    Thank you Charlotte for drawing the quiet out as it slows things down so that readers can appreciate these events more thoroughly.

    - Martine

  36. Thank you for a wonderful post and more generally your coverage of Meghan and this whole tour. I have loved every bit of it. From the causes to the people and stories highlighted. They have brought me tears and joy and it was wonderful to see Archie visit the Arch.
    I am not one for fashion, although I appreciate beautiful clothing and accessories. I agree that she went with a working wardrobe which serves to keep the focus on the work. This particular tour wardrobe in my opinion is also to counteract the stories from last autumn’s tour. Yet people are disappointed after complaining of the cost of last autumn’s wardrobe. I know that clothes and accessories can be used to send a message, which Meghan has employed in the past and I am sure will do so in the future. But I think she still managed to do it on this tour while keeping with the aim she set out which is highlight the people and causes.
    There was also the interaction with the press in terms of articles, providing soundbites and interviews which have greatly helped to push their message and that of the Southern African people that they came into contact with globally.
    I wish people and the press had been more patient with them. When they were in Australia last year they had just been married, newly pregnant so it must stand to reason that it will take them some time to really find the sweet spot in terms of press engagements and carrying out their engagements. So the issues and articles generated after that tour well into this summer have been disheartening (I believe some started before that as well). That is why I clearly understand and support the statement made by PH.
    Meghan has done such a tremendous job since joining the RF and she should have been shown more grace and the excellent work really highlighted. It will have been difficult for her to face the press to discuss with them her work when last autumn her dad was all over the place giving interviews and she might have been asked about a deeply personal issue. So this year even more confident in her role and herself with their own team who can provide guidance to the press in terms of keeping the questions to work, the possibility of the good relationship which can exist between the Sussexes and the press was highlighted.
    That is why PH called them out saying we are here to work and we are prepared to work with you but can you stop the vitriol and propaganda against me but in particular my wife. He isn’t asking for special favour just fair treatment. One can only hope they reflect and others who commentate do also. I have always seen them happy to involve the press in their work but everyone has a right to private life and it is the individual’s right to share parts of it should they choose to.
    I look forward to them going on more successful tours in aid of the RF and the UK (which they have always done).

  37. I'm glad she wore a repeat and it was a thoughtful choice, but honestly I do not like this dress. I don't think it flatters her gorgeous figure and it just looks like she's wearing a coat with no sleeves. But I do love how well she's connecting with people and how her clothing doesn't distract from the message or the people and causes she's trying to highlight

  38. As always, Charlotte, I am amazed by your great coverage. Thank you ever so much for all the work you put in. Please know, it's highly appreaciated.
    This tour was so very different from what we will see from Wiliam and Kate (due to their different roles)and I believe/hope we will see more of this style from Harry and Meghan. It fits them very much. The tour was excellently organised and they could play their strengths to the max. The casual fashion choices were so on point, even if I didn't like a particular style, it was always perfectly approbriate. I love that it was a cohesive look throughout the tour.
    I will say, that I might have never noticed how beautiful Meghan's face actually is. I mean, I thouhgt her pretty but the fillness she still maintains makes her face look so so georgous. That picture in the jumpsuit is one of the best ones in term of beauty shots from this tour.
    I have to agree though with the sentiment that they should have waited to issue their public statement regarding the lawsuit she filed. 48 more hours till they are back at home wouldn't have hurt. It overshadows the tour and took away a lot of attention from the last engagements. Which is just sad und unnecessary.
    I cannot wait for the fashion polls ( please say there will be some, Charlotte. Pretty please...) about the tour. It is always interesting to see if my taste matches the majority or not.

  39. It sounds like there’s a lot more going on than we realize.

    This just broke . Suing for alleged phone hacking.

  40. I remember other instances of royals suing, such as K&W suing for those photos of Kate and there were some phone hacking instances. It doesn't affect any reporters who are not stooping to these levels, but the lies about Meghan have been fast and furious. I think those printing the lies should be accountable for their actions.

    Like videos of Kate, videos of Meghan show her to be even lovelier and sweeter than still photos. When she said she missed Harry, she sounded like, as Misha puts it, "the coolest girl." Imagine being Harry and seeing how little Archie's wonderful mother is lied about and abused constantly.

    And I think the Markles need to try to redeem their own lives and leave her alone.

  41. Just received an email John Lewis is no longer stocking the tote from Meghan's collaboration collection. :(

  42. I don't know what the law says in the UK, but in the US copyright belongs to the writer of a letter (Meghan), not to the recipient. When Joyce Maynard wrote her book about her affair with J D Salinger, she was not allowed to quote from the letters that he wrote to her. So if UK law matches ours, publishing Meghan's letter to her father was absolutely copyright infringement. But Rupert Murdoch would rather sell papers than abide by the law.

  43. Excellent coverage, Charlotte. The whole tour was wonderful. I have learned so much about South Africa, about its strengths and the areas that need improvement. Thanks for the integrity of your blogs.


Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)