Duke and Duchess of Sussex in South Africa

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Archie have begun their 9-Day Tour of Southern Africa, starting in South Africa and then moving on to Malawi, Angola, &  Botswana. This page will be updated everyday with updates from the visit to South Africa, so be sure to Return. Click HERE to learn about previous Royal Visits to South Africa.

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👋🏻 South Africa 🇿🇦 • After months of planning, Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived in South Africa today for their official Royal Tour of Southern Africa – focusing on community, grassroots leadership, women’s and girls’ rights, mental health, HIV/AIDS and the environment. Their first stop was to the incredible Justice Desk Project which works to make women and children safer in Nyanga. It’s an issue of vital importance in South Africa and across the globe, their Royal Highnesses wanted to learn first-hand about the issues people face and the work being done on the ground. One of the workshops Their Royal Highnesses saw was the Mbokodo project which provides self-defense classes and female empowerment workshops to young girls who are overcoming major traumas. This project's powerful motto is "wathint' abafazi wathint' imbokodo" which means "you strike a woman; you strike a rock" • “And just on one personal note, may I just say that while I am here with my husband as a member of The Royal Family, I want you to know that for me I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister.” – The Duchess of Sussex • @TheJusticeDesk Project is supported by the @Queens_Commonwealth_Trust and works with community leaders in Nyanga, with the firm belief that if you can change the mindset of a community, you can change the mindset of a country. #SussexRoyalTour #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica • Photo ©️PA images / SussexRoyal – video SussexRoyal

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After arriving in Cape Town on a delayed British Airways flight, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex began the visit at the Justice Desk Project, a workshop for children that educates them about “rights, self-awareness, and safety,” and the Mbokodo project that teaches young girls self-defence skills with a focus on empowerment. Later, they visited the District Six Museum, which honours a community that was forcibly relocated during the apartheid era, before visiting the Homecoming Centre, where they’ll took part in a community cooking activity alongside former District Six residents.

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Day two of #SussexRoyalTour is underway, and The Duke and Duchess have joined young South Africans and @WavesForChange to focus on mental health and take part in ‘surf therapy’. • Hundreds of young people from Cape Town’s townships meet every week at Monwabisi beach to surf, but also share stories with mentors and talk through the daily challenges they face. Their Royal Highnesses were able to hear how the sessions are building trust, confidence, and belonging, and they also got to join in as children took part in ‘power hand’, which teaches them how to keep calm down reflect on strengths. While on the beach The Duke and Duchess met @TheLunchBoxFund – which was one of the charities they nominated to benefit from donations following the birth of their son, Archie. Almost 30,000 meals are provided by the charity every day across South Africa, including for three @WavesForChange projects. And before they left The Duke and Duchess joined the Commonwealth Litter Programme (CLiP) – which was teaching the surfers about the impact of plastic waste on the ocean. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica • Photo ©️ photos EMPICS / PA images / SussexRoyal

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Happy Heritage Day South Africa! 🇿🇦 • Today we are celebrating the great diversity of cultures, beliefs and traditions that make up the rainbow nation. Bo Kaap streets filled with colour and music while Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed to one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in Cape Town. The area has seen inter-community tension rise over the last few years, yet days like today show how faith, traditions, food and music bring people together, and celebrate the things that unite each and every one of us. The Duke and Duchess are so happy to have been invited to the festivities in Bo Kaap today, and were overwhelmed by the amazing welcome. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica • Photo ©️ photos PA images / SussexRoyal

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More images from Heritage Day in Bo Kaap. As part of their visit, Their Royal Highnesses visited the Auwal Mosque – the first and oldest Mosque in South Africa. Standing as a symbol of the freedom of former slaves to worship, the Mosque hosts events with Muslim, Christian and Jewish young leaders, and encourages friendship and understanding between South Africa's varied communities. The Duke and Duchess also got to view the first known manuscript of the Qu’ran in Africa, drafted by Tuan Guru from memory, whilst he was imprisoned on Robben Island. ••• Heritage Day celebrated the great diversity of cultures, beliefs and traditions that make up the rainbow nation. Bo Kaap streets filled with colour and music while Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed to one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in Cape Town. The area has seen inter-community tension rise over the last few years, yet days like today show how faith, traditions, food and music bring people together, and celebrate the things that unite each and every one of us. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica • Photo ©️ Shutterstock / PA images

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On September 24th, the Duke and Duchess visited Monwabisi Beach, meeting with Waves for Change, a charity that works with local surfers to provide mental health support for youth. They also met with the Lunchbox Fund, which provides daily meals for South African schoolchildren, as well as Waves for Change programs. The Duke and Duchess then met with Dr. Thomas Maes, the man heading the Commonwealth Litter Program, which was launched at last year’s London Commonwealth Summit. The Duke, as Captain General of the Royal Marines, traveled with the City of Cape Town Marine Unit by boat, to learn about how the organization combats abalone poaching, before being joined by the Duchess to visit Bo Kaap in celebration of Heritage Day, seeing the oldest mosque in the country, Auwal mosque, and having tea with local residents. The Royal Couple ended their day at a reception at the British High Commissioner’s Residence.

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Ladies who launch! This afternoon in the Woodstock district of Cape Town, The Duchess of Sussex joined inspiring female entrepreneurs who shared their passion for ideas, technology and making a positive social impact. Each of the women shared amazing stories of how they started in business, the journey they’ve been on – successes and struggles – but also their ambitions for the future. Female empowerment and championing women’s rights is a key focus for The Duchess. By taking small actions we can make a big difference. Thank you to the inspiring women The Duchess met today, who are setting this example every day through their dedication and determination. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica Photo ©️ PA images / Sussex Royal

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This afternoon in South Africa, The Duchess has continued to meet incredible women from Cape Town. @mothers2mothers does amazing work to train and employ women living with HIV as frontline health workers. All of the women The Duchess met today are from Khayelitsha and Lesotho, and the role they play as ‘Mentor Mothers’ is a lifeline to families in their community. Before departing, HRH donated two large bags of loved but outgrown clothes from Archie and her friends’ children. “It’s so important we’re able to share what’s worked for our family and know that we’re all in this together with each other. So we wanted to share something from our home to each of yours,” she said. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica • Photo ©️ @ukinsouthafrica

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On the 25th of September, the Duke, Duchess, and Archie met with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter at their legacy foundation. Afterwards, Prince Harry left to travel to Botswana, Angola, and Malawi, while the Duchess remained in South Africa and visited the Woodstock Exchange to meet women entrepreneurs and technology investors and Mothers2Mothers.

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“Simi kunye kulesisimo” – ‘We stand together in this moment’ The Duchess of Sussex has tied a ribbon at the site where 19-year-old Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana was murdered last month, to pay her respects and to show solidarity with those who have taken a stand against gender based violence and femicide. Over the last month in Capetown, protests erupted through the streets in outrage over GBV in South Africa. The Duke and Duchess had been following what had happened from afar and were both eager to learn more when they arrived in South Africa. The Duchess spoke to the mother of Uyinene this week to relay their condolences. Visiting the site of this tragic death and being able to recognise Uyinene, and all women and girls effected by GBV (specifically in South Africa, but also throughout the world) was personally important to The Duchess. Uyinene’s death has mobilised people across South Africa in the fight against gender based violence, and is seen as a critical point in the future of women’s rights in South Africa. The Duchess has taken private visits and meetings over the last two days to deepen her understanding of the current situation and continue to advocate for the rights of women and girls. For more information on the recent events in SA, please continue to follow our tour #AmINext

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On the 27th, the Duchess of Sussex tied a ribbon at the site where 19-year-old Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana was murdered last month, to pay her respects and to show solidarity with those who have taken a stand against gender based violence and femicide.

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While in Johannesburg today, The Duchess of Sussex visited Victoria Yards, which celebrates the power of community, bringing local artisans and “makers” together to rebuild, support and learn from each other on a holistic level. It was an exceptional afternoon where The Duchess had the chance to connect with the children and founders of the phenomenal programme for kids’ development Timbuktu in The Valley. She was also struck by the local denim designer who founded eponymous brand Tshepo who shared this info about the logo for his line: “The crown on my jeans represents the three ladies who raised me. Enjoy wearing this crown.” Such a beautiful and touching sentiment! Artists, artisans, sculptors, metal workers and carpenters are all part of the fabric of Victoria Yards, but it also utilizes the power of The DICE programme which supports several other local organisations in their work with marginalised youth and women. These include: 94 Colours (run by The Duchess’ guides for the day, Hector and Sibusiso), CDP (a development programme for young unemployed and marginalised women that provides training to start creative enterprises), Enke (rebuilds the confidence and self-belief of unemployed youth through training and practical experience), 26’10 South (an architecture firm designing a local youth centre) and ReimagiNation (works with local secondary school students to create a social and creative enterprising mindset). Stay tuned for more updates from this special afternoon… #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica

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While at Victoria Yards in Johannesburg this afternoon, The Duchess of Sussex had the opportunity to learn more about the importance of, and how to enable a ‘wellbeing economy’ thanks to Co-Director of the Maker’s Valley Partnership, Simon Sizwe. Simon was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Young African Leaders Initiative programme initiated by President Obama, and he explained that by investing in the overall well-being of a community and its people, and focusing on that economy, you can enrich everyone for a better quality of life. She also met with the owners of Sobae Frozen, an entrepreneurial duo who created their small business as a solution to food waste, creating vegan sorbet from unused fruit from Victoria Yards. At the end of her visit, The Duchess was moved by the original poetry of Belita Andre, the winner of the Poetry Grandslam. In her reading she said: “The Maker’s Valley is a social and enterprise hub, a wave between my corner of the world and yours. Insisting that beyond the anchors of survival. How to make sure that everyone gets to shore, pass around an ocean of stars, not because our sleepless nights are equal but because our dreams are.” • #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica

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In Johannesburg on the 30th, the Duchess of Sussex visited Victoria Yards, which celebrates the power of community, bringing local artisans and “makers” together to rebuild, support and learn from each other on a holistic level.

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This morning, The Duchess of Sussex went back to college!  Joining students and educators at The University of Johannesburg The Duchess was able to announce a new series of gender grants from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, of which she is patron. She was also able to announce four new scholarships to help students study in different commonwealth countries, allowing cross cultural understanding and an opportunity to deepen their educational studies abroad. One of the recipients of these grants shared his story of growing up on farmland in Kenya, where he paid for his education trading vegetables to cover schooling costs (cauliflower leaves to be exact!) He is now doing a research study on carcinogens in his country, its link to cancer – his work is helping to change practices and to save lives. The Duchess was so moved by the work being done across the education sector and to talk with such like-minded thinkers about the importance of access to education and the support needed internally. When the round table discussion this morning moved to the challenges faced in this sector and how daunting it can all seem, The Duchess said, “Sometimes access to education can seem so big, you wonder where to even begin? So you begin with one student, or one school, you simply begin. And that’s when we see change.” She continued by referencing a Martin Luther King Jr quote: “Take the first step… you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Since @the_acu_official Gender Grants were launch in 2016, 28 universities in 17 countries have benefited with a minimum of 600 beneficiaries participating in workshops supported by the grants. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica Photo ©️ PA images

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Continuing her visit in Johannesburg today, The Duchess of Sussex has visited the charity @actionaid_sa to speak to people working tirelessly to protect young girls in South Africa. The Duchess wanted to use her time here to help her better understand the issue of gender-based violence, and learn more about what was being done to tackle this crisis. @actionaid_sa work with a number of projects specifically helping young women, including the Teddy Bear Clinic, which provides essential support to children and families affected by domestic and sexual abuse, and @sonkegenderjustice, a not-for-profit working across Africa. The Duchess discussed the importance of trying to break a generational cycle and empower young girls, as well as working with boys and young men to raise their awareness so they can be a part of the solution rather than the problem. After the meeting today, The Duchess travelled privately to meet a number of young girls who are being supported by Action Aid and the Teddy Bear Clinic. These girls have come out of situations of abuse and degradation and have found their sense of self, purpose, and confidence in the spirit of sisterhood and community in The Girls Club. The Duchess described them as role models for all. For the privacy and protection of these young women, no photos of this visit will be shared. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica Photo ©️ SussexRoyal / Getty / PA images

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After ending his visit to Malawi on October 1st, the Duke of Sussex flew back to South South Africa, while the Duchess attended Roundtable discussion with the Association of Commonwealth Universities in Johannesburg  and then visited a local school that received UK Aid funding. In the evening, the couple released a statement that they were filing a lawsuit against Mail on Sunday, for which I was interviewed on the BBC.

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In Tembisa, Johannesburg, today The Duke and Duchess visited to meet young entrepreneurs at the YES hub – a hive for creativity and social enterprise. Their visit was an amazing tour of the ingenuity and opportunity – seeing businesses that varied from food to essential sanitary products for local women. During their visit, they were able to sample food from ‘Chef Mish’ – a local masterchef winner – which he makes at the site as part of his catering business and cafe. They then joined YES community members to take part in training and tests that will help them gain skills and find work. On the third stop today, entrepreneur Moss showed The Duke and Duchess the organic produce he's growing in the township with aquaponics – supplying local restaurants. And finally, The Duke and Duchess met the women behind the amazing Blossom Care Solutions – who are making 80,000 sanitary pads every month for women in their community. They are 100% compostable, and provide an essential low-cost product for women and girls. The Duchess has long campaigned on this issue and wrote in Time magazine in 2017, saying: “In communities all over the globe, young girls’ potential is being squandered because we are too shy to talk about the most natural thing in the world. To that I say: we need to push the conversation, mobilize policy making surrounding menstrual health initiatives, support organizations who foster girls’ education from the ground up, and within our own homes, we need to rise above our puritanical bashfulness when it comes to talking about menstruation.” • See our previous post to see The Dukes speech #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica Photo ©️ PA images

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In her final speech of #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica, The Duchess of Sussex had an important message to young people around the world (swipe ➡️ to see full): • “I remember being a young girl watching TV and seeing what was happening in the world, and frankly, often feeling despair. When you constantly see and hear negativity, it can be overwhelming; you can feel powerless, and lost, you can feel different, confused, or like you just don’t belong. And I’m sure there is a young girl or boy watching this and thinking the exact same thing. So, this is for you. In a world that that can seem so aggressive, confrontational, and dangerous, you should know that you have the power to change it. Because whether you’re here in South Africa, at home in the UK, the US or around the world, you actually have the power within you to change things, and that begins with how you connect to others. I have learned from the people I’ve met here, that whether it’s about society’s expectations of masculinity or femininity, or how we divide ourselves by race or faith or class or status- everyone has value, and everyone deserves to be heard and respected. And if you live your life in thatway, your generation will start to value each other in ways the rest of us have not yet been able to do so.” • Video ©️ SussexRoyal

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On their last day on Tour, the Duke and Duchess met with youth entrepreneurs and viewed skills initiatives addressing the rise in unemployment, before meeting Graça Machel, widow of the late President Mandela. They then attended a UK-South Africa Business Reception, before having an audience with President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of their private departure.

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