Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth - Pool/Getty Images
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the... travel stroller! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have jaunted to Spain and France over the summer, but the royals are gearing up for their first official trip as a family of three—and it's no joke. Towards the end of September, the Sussexes are taking their four-month-old son Archie Harrison on a tour of Africa. And since he'll be the youngest royal to ever rep the monarchy, prepare for a parade of adorable!
On Friday, Harry and Meghan shared new details on the 10-day trip, which runs from September 23 to October 2. The family will be spending time together in South Africa, with dad also making solo trips to three additional countries—Angola, Malawi and Botswana. Their focus will be on "community, grassroots leadership, women’s and girls’ rights, mental health, HIV/AIDS and the environment," according tot heir Instagram.
But the obvious question du jour is: when will we see Archie? A royal source told Hello! that "the couple hope to include Archie at some point in the programme, but it's difficult to schedule." Ummm, yah—there's little less predictable than a baby's mood! And to keep some consistency in their little one's schedule, the new parents will also be available for Archie's bath and bedtime routine as much as possible throughout the tour.
It's hard enough travelling with a baby under normal circumstances, so we can't imagine the added pressure of a 10-day trip with the world watching. On top of the usual concerns (Will baby's ears hurt on the plane? Are thirty extra sleepers enough to thwart all poo explosions? Will your little one sleep in a new environment?), Harry and Meghan have to cross their fingers and hope Archie behaves himself in front of the cameras. Or, if he follows in his cousin Prince George's footsteps, expect viral moments like when the touring royal refused to give Justin Trudeau a high five!
Granted, Harry and Meghan are down to earth, if their recent Sunday lunch at a local pub is any indication, so we're sure they'll be able to see the humour in unexpected moments—which are the ones we look forward to the most! Last weekend, the pair posted on Instagram to share their excitement about the tour and offer a few details.
"In just a few weeks our family will be taking its first official tour to Africa, a region of the world that over the past two decades has been a second home to me," said Prince Harry. "Our team has helped create a meaningful programme that we’re so excited to share with you. On a personal note, I can't wait to introduce my wife and son to South Africa! We’ll see all of you very soon."
As we excitedly count down the days to Archie cuteness, here's everything we know about the Sussex family's first official tour.
Mom and dad will be spending half of their 10 days apart after kicking the tour off with three days meeting young people and visiting organizations in Cape Town, South Africa. "From meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu to joining ‘Waves for Change’ on Monwabisi Beach, the South Africa programme will be educational and inspiring."
From there, Harry will travel to Botswana, where he'll visit a local project of his charity, Sentebale, which helps children affected by HIV and AIDS. Then he'll be off to Angola for a very special project. "The Duke is especially proud to continue the legacy left by his mother with her work in Angola as he joins Halo Trust again in an effort to rid the world of landmines." In Malawi, the prince will focus on education and anti-poaching initiatives.
While Harry is away, from September 26 to October 1, Meghan will participate in round tables, visit organizations and meet with local students for causes close to her heart. "The Duchess will be working with local organisations to promote women and girls’ health and education, entrepreneurship and leadership."
The royal tour will run from September 23 to October 2.
Yes! We were so relieved when Harry confirmed on @SussexRoyal that he'll be introducing his son to South Africa, a country he loves so much. Archie will likely be on hand for an engagement or two during the trip (there's no official arrival photo op, sadly) and hopefully also as they say farewell and head back to the UK. Prince George was eight months old when he joined Prince William and Kate on a tour of Australia and New Zealand, where he took part in a playdate with local kids and visited the zoo, while Princess Charlotte was 16 months old on her first official trip to Canada.
We're really hoping for a good glimpse of the "happy baby," who a source told People has “lovely, puffy little legs and tufts of reddish hair.” Squee!
Yes—and just in time. Like most royal parents, the busy couple has reportedly hired full-time help, just as Meghan's maternity leave comes to an end. They're said to have had a night nurse for Archie's first few months, and a previous nanny that they let go, but their most recent live-out hire was pictured boarding a private jet in Nice with the trio. Not much is known about her, other than the fact that she's been called a "godsend" who has years of nannying experience and adores baby Archie, according to The Sun. We'll likely see more of her when she joins the Sussexes on tour.
Most definitely! Prince Harry has a special connection to the continent, which he first visited in 1997 after Princess Diana died and again during his gap year. It's also where his charity, Sentebale, has been helping young people affected by HIV and AIDS since 2006. The romantic royal took Meghan, who had already visited Rwanda as an ambassador for World Vision Canada, to Botswana for the first time after just a few dates.
“I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana," he said in their engagement interview. "We camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic. So then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to know each other.” They went back the next year for Meghan's 36th birthday, where they helped with elephant conservation efforts.
We'll keep you updated as more details are released! In the meantime, mentally prepare for those puffy little legs...