Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Connection to Africa — from Their Third Date to Tour with Archie
Harry calls the continent his "second home."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed on Thursday that they will carry out a royal tour in Africa this fall. In a post on their @SussexRoyal Instagram page, they also revealed that son Archie, born on May 6, will be coming along: “This will be their first official tour as a family!”
They will visit the country of South Africa, with Prince Harry also making stops in Malawi and Angola. He’ll also do a “short working visit in Botswana on route to the other countries,” according to the Instagram post.
Meghan and Prince Harry have traveled to Africa together several times. They visited Botswana early in their relationship in the summer of 2016 — after just two dates over two consecutive days in London.
“I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana. We camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic,” Harry said after their engagement. “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 returned in 2017 to celebrate Meghan’s 36th birthday, and recently shared a never-before-seen photo of their trip on their new Instagram account which showed them assisting with conversation efforts with elephants.
Harry made sure Meghan always had a reminder of the special place by choosing a diamond from Botswana as the centerpiece of her engagement ring. The stone is flanked by two smaller diamonds from Princess Diana‘s personal collection.
Princess Diana visited and famously walked through an active landmine area in Angola during a 1997 visit. The photo of Harry and Prince William‘s mother featured the princess wearing a visor and protective gear provided by charity the HALO Trust while walking through the mine area, becoming an iconic image and example of her passion for the cause.
Home to some of the world’s most important remaining wilderness, the presence of landmines in Angola continue to make the African country unsafe for local and animal inhabitants. During the Chatham House event, the prince will listen to the ‘Connecting Conservation, Sustainable Development and Mine Action’ panel conversation, as well as words by the Angolan Minister for the Environment, Hon Paula Coelho, before making his own remarks.
Harry first visited the Cuando Cubango region in southeast Angola with the HALO Trust in 2013. From this trip, Harry was able to witness the first-hand the impact of landmines affecting the civil war-torn areas.
Africa is a place close to Prince Harry’s heart — he’s even called it his “second home” — and he has visited the continent on many occasions beginning as a young boy. In 1997, he joined his father in South Africa for a visit to a Zulu village — and memorably met the Spice Girls ahead of their concert in Johannesburg.
Throughout the years, Harry has made both public and private trips to the country. He’s helped with conservation work, especially with rhinos and elephants, in addition to getting to know its people and their struggles.
Harry is president of African Parks and patron of the Rhino Conservation Botswana. He also co-founded Sentebale in 2006 with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, a charity to support young people affected by HIV and AIDS in Lesotho, Botswana and Malawi.
Meghan has ties to Africa as well. In 2016, she became the Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada, traveling to Rwanda for the Clean Water Campaign.
“I’ve never wanted to be a lady who lunches – I’ve always wanted to be a woman who works,” she once wrote. “And this type of work is what feeds my soul, and fuels my purpose.”
This article originally appeared on People. For more stories like this, visit people.com.