Here's how Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's first family royal tour is different to Prince William and Kate Middleton's
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have brought baby Archie along for their first royal tour as a family. The 10-day trip, which began on Monday, will see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend joint engagements in South Africa before Harry departs to Botswana, Angola, and Malawi for solo activities. In Angola, Harry will pay tribute to his mother, the late Princess Diana, by visiting the former minefield that she walked through in 1997. Back in South Africa, Markle won't have as many solo engagements, however she will be attending some events focused on female empowerment. The couple have scheduled the trip in this way so that Markle can look after baby Archie, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Insider. This is a major structural change to Kate Middleton and Prince William's first tour with Prince George — the couple stayed together for the majority of their visit to Australia and New Zealand in 2014. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and baby Archie have embarked on their official tour of Africa this week. It's an important milestone, as the 10-day trip marks their first tour as a family. One couple who has done their fair share of royal travel is Prince William and Kate Middleton, who took Prince George with them for their tour of Australia and New Zealand back in 2014. Read more: Here's the full schedule for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's first royal tour with baby Archie However, Harry and Markle won't be following tradition when it comes to this tour. In fact, they'll be doing things quite differently from Middleton and William, starting with their itinerary.
While Middleton and William stayed together for the majority of their tour — only breaking for simultaneous solo engagements while in the same cities — Harry and Markle will be touring different countries from one another during the visit. Meghan will stay in South Africa with Archie while Harry tours Botswana, Angola, and Malawi The duke and duchess are currently in Cape Town, South Africa, carrying out joint engagements. However, that changes on Thursday, when Harry travels solo to Botswana, Angola, and Malawi, while Markle will remain in South Africa. According to royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams, this was planned so that Markle can take care of baby Archie.
"The split in the tour makes perfect sense as Meghan will be staying in South Africa with Archie, who is only 4 months old, and she has a series of engagements which are linked to female empowerment, promoting women's education, health, entrepreneurship, and leadership," said Fitzwilliams, former editor of "The International Who's Who." "Harry will be visiting Angola to pay homage to his mother's brilliant campaign against landmines and launch a new de-mining project. In Malawi he will champion conservation as in Botswana where his activities will also be linked to Sentebale, the charity he founded in Lesotho in 2006 which helps the vulnerable, especially victims of the HIV/AIDS epidemic." He said the trip is "a carefully balanced tour in a part of the world which we know has a very special place in their hearts." The couple are set to meet famous figures, including Nelson Mandela's widow Graca Machel. On Wednesday, they met with Archbishop Desmond Tutu — and delighted fans by sharing a video showing baby Archie was along for the engagement. Read more: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just posted an adorable video of baby Archie, and it's the most we've ever seen of him The couple will reunite for the final day of the tour on Wednesday, October 2, where they will meet local youth and entrepreneurs in a township near Johannesburg. Archie is younger than the Cambridge children were on their first tours Despite being born without a royal title — unlike William and Middleton's children — Archie is making history as the youngest royal to embark on an overseas tour. George was nine months old when he joined his parents in Australia and New Zealand, while Princess Charlotte was 16 months old during the family's tour of Canada in 2016.
Baby Archie, meanwhile, is just four months old. Royal sources had previously told Vanity Fair's royal correspondent Katie Nicholl that Markle and Harry were eager to "incorporate Archie in the schedule at some point" during the tour. Markle and Harry are also said to be taking a more relaxed approach than William and Middleton on their tours. Nicholl added that the couple have requested "as little formality as possible" — something that would be undoubtedly more difficult to achieve for Britain's future King. "It's very much how they want things done," a royal source told Nicholl. "There is no protocol that says you have to bow or curtsy when you meet them, it's really up to the individual." Read more: Meghan Markle was filmed dancing with Cape Town locals, and Prince Harry awkwardly tried to join in Meghan Markle's birthday message to Prince Harry featured a never-before-seen photo of baby Archie Meghan Markle left her first royal engagement since giving birth to get back to baby Archie for 'feed time' Ellen DeGeneres says she got to hold baby Archie, who 'looks just like Harry' and had more hair than she did when they metJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Octopuses are officially the weirdest animals on Earth
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