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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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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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.

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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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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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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