Cape Town – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex marked their arrival on their first official royal tour to the African continent with a visit to Nyanga, a township in Cape Town, on Monday, 23 September.
On his visit to SA His Royal Highness said; "Thank you for introducing us to Cape Town. It's certainly a privilege and a pleasure to be able to bring my family here and make it the first official visit. Cape Town has so much to celebrate."
The royals met with locals in Nyanga where they visited Justice Desk, an award-winning human rights organisation, on their official engagement observing the work being done in to empower the youth, teaching girls in particular, self-defence.
Whilst at the event Meghan spoke of the great change that the community not only need, but deserve; "You welcomed us into this community, you were open and honest with us, about the dangers women and children face, and about how you are addressing them."
The duchess, who has been advocating for women's rights, added; "When women are empowered the entire community flourishes."
On the topic of gender based violence in the country, Meghan read a quote by Maya Angelou that she recently came across and wanted to share;"Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it, possibly without planning it, she stands up for all women."
She added: "Your commitment, to what is right, gives all of us hope. You must keep going."
"And just on one personal note," she concluded, "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 for me, I am here as a mother, as a wife, as a woman of colour, and as your sister. I am here with you and I am here for you and I thank you so much for showing my husband and I the spirit of ubuntu."
The royal couple ended their visit by joining a group of dancers in celebration that set the tone for the rest of their tour.
(CELEBRATIONS: Meghan dances during a visit to Nyanga. Photo: Courtney Africa/African News Agency)
With barely any time to settle or get comfortable Harry and Meghan quickly made their way to their second engagement on the tour, a visit to the District Six Museum followed by a visit to the District Six Homecoming Centre where the couple got their first taste of potato "porring" and samosas. Before leaving the event Meghan handed over a copy of Together, the Hubb Community Kitchen cookery book for which she wrote the foreword.
Significantly, the Hubb Community Kitchen started after the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London that left many families without a place to call home. A group of London women came together to cook fresh food for their families and neighbours and discovered the restorative magic that comes with cooking and eating together.
(DISTRICT SIX: Meghan tries her first samosa at the District Six Homecoming Centre. Photo: Bashiera Parker/Channel24)
Day two of the royal tour coincided with South Africa's Heritage Day - a public holiday which celebrates culture diversity and emphasis the fact that the nation belongs to all its people.
The royals' duties started with an early morning visit to Monwabisi Beach where Harry and Meghan found out more about the work being done by two local charities, Waves for Change and The Lunchbox Fund. Snaps from the event showed Meghan in black jeans, a white shirt, and denim jacket having fun on the beach and painted a whole different picture of the royal, who British media seems to love to hate.
(A DAY AT THE BEACH: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, visits Waves for Change. Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Their second engagement saw the duke, who was appointed Captain General Royal Marines in December 2017 by Her Majesty the Queen, visit the Cape Town Maritime Police Unit (MPU) in Kalk Bay.
In August 2018, the UK Ministry of Defence deployed a UK Military short-term training team to work with the MPU to improve their boat handling skills, confidence on the water, and operational effectiveness.
Since the UK Military's deployment, the MPU have detained a number of abalone smugglers in the Cape Town area who were operating at night.
Harry then travelled out to sea in the direction of Seal Island, an abalone poaching hot spot, to find out how the Royal Marine training has benefitted the MPU and received further updates on recent seizures and arrests made in the area.
(KALK BAY: Prince Harry's visit to Kalk Bay puts the spotlight on abalone poaching. Photo: Aljoscha Kohlstock/Channel24)
The royal duo's schedule was jam-packed on their second day as their next visit included a stopover at the Auwal Masjid. Built in 1794, the mosque is the oldest in South Africa.
On arrival, the duke and duchess were greeted by Sheikh Ismail Londt, the Imam of the mosque and Mohamed Groenwald, a Muslim community leader.
Meghan, dressed modestly in an olive green A-line dress and a cream scarf, sat down next to Prince Harry as they removed their shoes.
Their Royal Highnesses were then invited to view the first known manuscript of the Qu’ran in South Africa, which was drafted from memory by the first Imam, Tuan Guru, while he was imprisoned on Robben Island, before they were introduced to faith leaders.
The mosque visit was followed by a Heritage Day celebration in Bo-Kaap where Meghan and Harry sat down for tea and traditional sweet treats with locals. In May 2018, Bo-Kaap was awarded National Heritage Status.
(MOSQUE VISIT: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex visit the Auwal Mosque in Bo-Kaap, Cape Town. Photo: Bashiera Parker/Channel24)
The second day of the tour concluded with a sunset reception at the British High Commissioner's Residence in Bishopscourt where Harry and Meghan met with inspiring youth, awarding locals with an honour from Her Majesty, The Queen.
The two locals who received the awards were Jade Bothma and Hunter Mitchell. Meghan was particularly taken with Jade's "beautiful" necklace made from recyclable plastic as she advocates day in and day out for ocean conservation, while Prince Harry accepted a plush rhino from Hunter as a gift to Archie.
"I raise money for injured and orphaned baby rhinos after their mothers have sadly been poached. That money goes to rescuing, raising and rehabilitating these baby rhinos back into the wild. So, it helps the rhino population grow," young Hunter explained the work he does.
(GARDEN PARTY: Prince Harry in the British High Commissioner's beautiful garden in Bishopscourt. Photo: Bashiera Parker/Channel24)
The third day of the tour was particularly special when four-month-old Archie made his first appearance at a royal engagement during a visit to Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Old Granary building in the city centre.
"You're going to meet the Arch!" Prince Harry told an excited Archie, as the family made their way up the steps to greet Archbishop Tutu who welcomed them with open arms.
(ARCHIE MEETS THE ARCH: The youngest royal met with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Photo: Toby Melville - Pool/Getty Images)
Shortly after the visit Prince Harry departed for the second leg of his tour of Africa during which he'll visit Botswana, Angola, and Malawi.
The duchess made two more solo appearances in Cape Town including a stopover at the Woodstock Exchange to meet female entrepreneurs working in technology. Her Royal Highness highlighted the benefits of networking between aspiring female entrepreneurs and successful female role models.
After talking to inspiring female entrepreneurs and hearing their stories, Meghan shared some wisdom of her own. According to Matsi Modise, the founder of Furaha Afrika Holdings, the duchess said; "Usually when you're the first one to climb a mountain, the fall is normally harder, the push back is normally harder."
"She really looked at us," Matsi continued, "and said, well, you just need to keep on going, keep on pushing because this vision is beyond ourselves."
(WOODSTOCK EXCHANGE: Duchess Meghan Markle chats to inspiring women in Woodstock, Cape Town. Photo: Channel24/Bashiera Parker)
Meghan concluded the Cape Town leg of the tour with a visit to the Foreshore to see the work being done at mothers2mothers, an African not-for-profit organisation with the vision of a healthy, HIV-free Africa. But it was what happened outside that made headlines when Meghan kneeled to comfort an eight-year-old fan overcome with emotion.
Eight-year-old Amara Nenguke said Meghan asked what she wants to become one day when she grows up before responding; "You can be anything you want."
The royals will make a handful of appearances in Johannesburg next week including a visit with Graça Machel and a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife Dr Tshepo Motsepe.
(A KISS GOODBYE: Duchess Meghan kisses Amara on the hand outside mothers2mothers in Cape Town. Photo: Getty Images)