Harry and Meghan to arrive laden with gifts for children in South Africa
By Tony Jones
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will arrive in South Africa laden with gifts for the nation's children - presents donated to their son Archie.
Harry and Meghan will give clothes, books and other items to an Africa-based charity that trains and employs women living with HIV as community health workers.
The couple begin their 10-day tour of Africa in Cape Town later and are travelling with their four-month-old son Archie - described by a palace source as "an extra special small passenger to make things a little more lively".
The source, who said the goods would be presented to the charity mothers2mothers, added: "The Duke and Duchess were inundated with gifts for baby Archie from organisations and the general public.
"They were incredibly grateful, but one little baby can only wear so many clothes and he's growing fast.
"So the duchess decided to bring a number of his presents to hand on to South African children and families most in need.
"She'll take a selection of clothes, books and pens to the mothers2mothers charity which help families with HIV."
The charity's "mentor mothers" work in local communities and at understaffed health facilities to ensure that women and their families get the health advice and medication they need, are linked to the right clinical services, and are supported on their treatment journey.
The organisation works in eight nations across Africa including Uganda, Malawi and South Africa.
Meghan is expected to add her voice to the thousands who have spoken out about the rising violence against women in South Africa, during the tour's first event.
The duchess, who is a champion of gender equality, is likely to raise the issue when she visits a Township in Cape Town with the duke.
They will tour a workshop that provides a range of services to young people, including self-defence classes and female empowerment training to young girls in the community.
The couple are visiting Africa from September 23 to October 2, and while Meghan and Archie spend the duration in South Africa, Harry will leave his family to tour Angola, Malawi and Botswana before being reunited with them in Johannesburg.
Harry will travel to Angola on Friday, to pay homage to the work of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, campaigning for landmines to be outlawed during a visit she made to the country in 1997.
He will also pay tribute to a British soldier killed by an elephant during anti-poaching operations in Malawi when he visits the country on September 30, to focus attention on efforts to protect endangered animals.
A post about the tour on the royal couple's official Instagram account said: "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."
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "The Duke of Sussex's love for Africa is well known; he first visited the continent at the age of 13 and more than two decades later, the people, culture, wildlife and resilient communities continue to inspire and motivate him every day."
Meghan, who is making her first visit to South Africa, and Harry both admire South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela and have already met members of his family in the UK.
Towards the end of their visit they will be introduced to the statesman's widow Graca Machel, who met the duke when he visited South Africa in 2015, and have an audience with President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife Tshepo Motsepe.