Baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten stole the show at his first royal engagement when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex introduced him to Archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town. Not surprisingly, their VIP host was won over by the adorable four month old, declaring: “He’s going to be a ladies’ man!”
Meghan told the anti-apartheid activist that Archie is “an old soul” while Harry, referring to the ever-growing media attention, remarked: “I think he’s getting used to it already.”
The historic meeting, which took place on the third day of Harry and Meghan’s African tour, provided fans across the world with the moment they’d been waiting for – a proper look at the newest addition to the royal family.
With Archie having kept a low profile since his birth in May, it was also the first time the public fully witnessed the strong resemblance between father and son.
Archie sported a cute pair of £12.99 dungarees from high street store H&M, a label the duchess has worn in the past. Made of 100 per cent organic cotton they were from the brand’s sustainable ‘Conscious’ line and almost identical to the pinstriped dungarees worn by his cousin Prince George – and his own dad as a toddler. Similarly, the white bobble hat that kept Archie snug on the family’s arrival in Cape Town was reminiscent of one worn by Harry back in 1985.
Meghan was heard sweetly referring to Archie by his pet name ‘Bubba’, adding him to a long list of royals with quirky nicknames!
Over tea, the Sussexes chatted to Desmond and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. At one point, a curious Archie eyed up a display of colourful cakes decorated with words such as Peace, Joy and Love.
Harry hinted that his son is going to be a livewire like his cousins, explaining that Archie is “constantly wanting to stand”. However, he mostly looked very content as he sat on his mother’s knee, giggling every now and then.
Earlier in the week, Meghan, 38, shared her experience of first-time motherhood when she revealed that the “transition was smooth” as Archie was such an “easy baby”. Describing her son as wonderful, she let slip that he loves to fall asleep on Harry’s chest. She also said that parenting is a new skill that she and Harry are still “learning and developing”. Declaring her husband to be “the best dad”, Harry in turn called Meghan “the best mum”.
After a kiss on Archie’s forehead from the archbishop, the trio left with a basket of gifts including some signed children’s books written by ‘the Arch’ as Harry and Meghan referred to him on Instagram. An illustrated songbook in particular was the perfect choice for Archie who attends baby music classes at home in Windsor, but a personalised heart-shaped biscuit, iced with the words ‘Master Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor’ was possibly enjoyed by his parents! They were also given framed photos for Harry, 35, and his brother the Duke of Cambridge, showing Nelson Mandela with their late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
Meghan looked lovely at the engagement in a silk dress by one of her favourite brands Club Monaco. She also wore, alongside her wedding band, a Jennifer Meyer turquoise ring and matching earrings.
According to Meghan, Archie has been having a “ball of a time” in Africa. His nanny, who Meghan regards as a ‘godsend’, has been helping to take care of him, especially while Harry was on his solo leg of the tour in Angola, Malawi and Botswana. She had travelled with the Sussexes and their entourage on the 11-hour British Airways flight to Africa and while the duchess said her son was “very good”, she admitted he slept with “one eye open”!
Read on for more special moments from the royal tour!
Meghan chose the head scarf as a sign of respect, just as Harry’s mother did at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, on a royal tour of Pakistan in 1991.
IN HIS MOTHER’S FOOTSTEPS
In a poignant moment, Harry mirrored his mother’s footsteps as he walked through a partially cleared minefield in Angola.
The iconic image of Diana, Princess of Wales, taken over 22 years ago, showed her crossing a similar field in Huambo. She died just seven months later, but Harry was able to witness the impact of his mum’s campaign to rid the world of landmines when he later visited the same spot, which has since been developed. He said: “Being here, where my mother walked through a live minefield, shows the tremendous impact clearing landmines has on communities and their futures.” He also spoke of the “unhealed” scar of war and praised the Halo Trust for their efforts in clearing the area of mines and helping the community “find peace”.
The visit became even more emotional as, that evening, the duke met Sandra Tigica, the landmine victim who was famously photographed with Diana in 1997. Now 38, the survivor told Harry that she had named a daughter after his late mother.
Meghan drew comparisons with her late mother-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales when she wore a headscarf in public for the first time during a visit to the Auwal Mosque in Bo-Kaap, Cape Town.
She chose the garment as a sign of respect, just as Harry’s mother did at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, on a royal tour of Pakistan in 1991.
The duke and duchess both went barefoot in the mosque where they sat cross-legged on the floor chatting to local children. Harry told one schoolboy that he sometimes feels “overwhelmed” by the world’s problems and Meghan requested a hug from one of the girls. The duchess, who was wearing a long £260 Staud dress, later removed her headscarf for a walkabout.
Earlier that day, the couple met members of the charity Waves For Change, a group of surfers who help children beat mental health issues. And a visit to a youth leadership reception saw Meghan re-wearing her striped Martin Grant maxi dress which was first seen in Australia last year. Her decision to mix old outfits with affordable pieces attracted lots of praise.
The duchess also took time out of her busy schedule to visit the memorial of Uyinene Mrwetyana, the 19-year-old Cape Town University student who was raped and murdered in August in a gender killing.
Arriving hand in hand with Harry at the District 6 Museum in Cape Town, Meghan looked resplendent in a recycled £525 shirt dress by Veronica Beard. She previously wore it during their visit to Tonga in October last year when she was three months pregnant. Her £80 Castaner wedge espadrilles were also old favourites and a brand loved by her sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge.
Two rather important rings were missing from Meghan’s right hand: her engagement ring and her eternity ring, which Harry is said to have given her as a “push present” after Archie’s birth. Instead Meghan only wore her gold wedding band, so as to appear more low key during her meet and greets.
During their visit, Meghan told a fellow mum that she “loves babies”. A keen cook, she also sampled a mutton and tomato stew, describing slow-cooked dishes as “very nourishing”.
DANCING IN THE STREET
Shortly after arriving in Cape Town, Meghan and Harry showed off their best dance moves during a visit to Nyanga township. The duchess wore a £69 wrap dress by Mayamiko, a Malawian brand that works with a charity supporting young people in fashion. The royal duo also wore matching beaded bracelets reading ‘Justice’, given to them by a little boy.
Meghan gave a powerful speech, telling the women of South Africa: “I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister.” It’s the first time, as a royal, that she has spoken about her heritage.
FEATURE: MICHELLE GARNETT