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Duchess reveals Archie’s feeding times dictate tour schedule

Archie has been seen once on the trip – when the duke and duchess visited Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The Duchess of Sussex holds son Archie (Toby Melville/PA)
The Duchess of Sussex holds son Archie (Toby Melville/PA)

By Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent

The Duchess of Sussex has revealed the schedule for her first trip to South Africa was based around a special person in her life – baby son Archie’s feeding times.

In an interview given on the penultimate day of Meghan and Harry’s visit to southern Africa, the duchess also said she missed her husband “so much” while he was away on a solo tour of the region.

She described being in South Africa for the first time as a “really powerful” experience – and speaking about her formal role with the Commonwealth “family” said the platform that came with the position was something she took “incredibly seriously”.

Quizzed about how the trip has been as a family, Meghan replied: “On my goodness, well, we’re doing well. I think the schedule – they have been very kind to me, because everything is based around Archie’s feed times.

“So it’s a full plate, but we’re making it work. It’s worth it.”

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The Duchess of Sussex holding her son Archie meets with Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Toby Melville/PA)

Archie has been seen once on the trip – when the duke and duchess visited Archbishop Desmond Tutu – and he appeared a happy, giggling baby.

At almost five-months-old, the royal baby is likely to be breast fed – which would dictate his mother having to be close by.

The couple have been touring Africa over nine days and while the duchess and Archie have spent the duration in South Africa, the duke left his family to tour Angola, Malawi and Botswana before being reunited with them in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The first day of the tour saw Meghan and Harry visit a Cape Town township where she spoke for the first time publicly as a royal about being a “woman of colour” and met young women benefiting from an initiative teaching them self-defence and confidence.

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The Duchess of Sussex speaks with 12 inspiring female entrepreneurs during a visit to the Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town (Chris Jackson/PA)

Asked, as a woman of colour, if she brought something new to how the royal family engages with South Africa, she replied: “The Commonwealth is a very diverse place with 53 countries, and so being a part of this family, and the platform that comes with that, is an incredible responsibility that I take really seriously.

“Being able to be in Africa and South Africa – it’s my first time being in this country – has been really powerful, and Harry has continued on in a couple other countries – we are reuniting today, which I can’t wait for, I miss him so much!”

On Tuesday, Harry returned from his tour of Botswana, Angola and Malawi where he highlighted his mother Diana, Princess of Wales’ anti-landmine work and also paid tribute to a British soldier killed by an elephant during an anti-poaching operation.

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The Duke of Sussex lays a wreath in tribute to Guardsman Mathew Talbot (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The duchess added: “But I think for us it has been a really special trip, because you get to see when you’re focusing on the causes that are really important to us, you can see that the impact is good, and it feels meaningful.”

Issues like gender based violence, women and girls’ empowerment, wildlife conservation and minefield clearance have been highlighted by the Sussexes since they arrived in Africa for their first official visit as a family.

While Harry was away, Meghan tied a ribbon at a Cape Town memorial to a student who was raped and murdered recently.

Asked if she would continue her work highlighting gender based violence in the UK she replied: “It’s been very important to me for a long time to focus on women’s and girls’ rights, and especially their empowerment.

“So to be able to see this from a far, and then now see the work that’s being done on the ground – I think what’s really key is to focus on the work that needs to be done, but also how much incredible work is being done, and to be able to be here and help support those people who are really actively working to champion the rights of women and girls.”

PA

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