Word on the royal rumor mill is that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are already planning to jet off on their first overseas trip since welcoming baby Archie, and the location is somewhere very significant for the Sussexes.
According to royal reports, Harry and Meghan are heading to Africa with their first stop in Malawi to expand the reach of Prince Harry's charity Sentebale there. They will also visit Angola to highlight the continuing problems from land mines — an issue that was very dear to Harry's mother, Princess Diana as well as a stop-off in South Africa.
Princess Diana famously visited Angola to call for an international ban on landmines in January 1997. She made headlines around the world when she walked through an active land mine area and even detonated a mine in front of the press. Her visit was a turning point as it brought a lot of public awareness to the campaign for a global landmine treaty, which was signed later that year just months after her untimely death.
The Princess of Wales also met with those affected by landmines including 13 year-old Sandra Tigica, who'd lost her legs from a mine. Sentebale — the charity Prince Harry founded after his gap year in Lesotho to help those suffering from AIDS — currently operates in Lesotho and Botswana and is now expanding its prevention program into Malawi.
Despite the high security risk, palace officials are determined for Harry and Meghan's trip to go ahead once Meghan has returned to official royal duties following her maternity leave. As of now, however, it is unclear whether Archie will be joining his parents on the tour set to take place during British autumn.
"Given the security and travel difficulties, it will be much discussed by the couple and palace aides before a final decision is made," royal reporter Chris Ship revealed.
Reports first surfaced of the Africa trip back in April, and Buckingham Palace did not deny the reports. "Any future plans for the Duke and Duchess are speculative at this stage," the palace said in a statement. "No decisions have been taken about future roles. The Duke will continue to fulfill his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador."
The last time the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the African continent was during their whirlwind tour of Morocco shortly before Archie's birth, but it's clear the continent is a very special place for the couple. On their official Instagram account Sussex Royal, a never-before-seen photo emerged of a trip Prince Harry and his then-girlfriend Meghan Markle took to Botswana in 2017. There, they worked with Elephants Without Borders and equipped a bull elephant with a satellite collar. Scroll through to see the photo!
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The Duke of Sussex attends the ‘Our Planet’ premiere at the Natural History Museum with The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Cambridge, lending their joint support for the protection of our environment. As president of @africanparksnetwork, The Duke of Sussex continues to advocate for the communities and wildlife that coexist in some of the most vulnerable environments around the world. Be it human wildlife conflict or natural disasters, these communities (park rangers, school children, families) are on the frontline of conservation and we must do more to help them as we also work to safeguard the animals and landscapes that are in critical danger. A few recent photos that look back on: Prince Harry’s long time commitment to this cause as well as a glimpse into the work he and The Duchess of Sussex did in 2017. Their Royal Highnesses travelled to Botswana to assist Dr. Mike Chase of Elephants Without Borders in equipping a bull elephant with a satellite collar. Approximately 100 elephants are poached/killed every day for their ivory tusks. Using satellite technology allows conservationists to track their critical migratory patterns and to protect them and the local communities from human wildlife conflict. The elephant pictured was sedated for just 10 minutes before he was up and back with his herd. Tracking his movements has allowed conservationists to better protect him and other elephants and ensure heightened protection for these beautiful creatures moving forward. Photo credit: PA, Image 1
Prince Harry and Meghan embarked on a loved-up holiday to Africa in 2017 to celebrate Meghan's 36th birthday, about a year into their relationship. At the time, the world was convinced that the red-headed royal would propose ahead of his own 33rd birthday in September.
"Harry has been planning this holiday for a long time. He's made the trip incredibly romantic. They'll go on boats across the lake, walk in the bush at dawn and camp under the stars," a source told The Sun at the time.
Explaining that the trip was Meghan's first ever safari, the source said Meghan was "super excited about their holiday together and to see Africa though Harry's eyes."
Even Meghan's engagement ring has a connection to the African continent. It features a large ethically-sourced diamond from Botswana, plus two diamonds from Princess Diana's personal collection.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.