Royal Visit to Southern Africa Part II
The second half of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's ten day tour to Southern Africa saw much more of the Duke as he traveled on to Botswana, Angola and Malawi. The Duchess stayed in South Africa and mainly undertook private engagements, making sporadic appearances (including via skype) while she looked after Archie in Cape Town before travelling to Johannesburg.
The Duchess of Sussex made a secret trip to pay tribute to Uyiyene Mryetwana, a nineteen year old South African student who was murdered last month while picking up a package from the post office. She tied a ribbon to the post office, joining hundreds of others, with the message "Simi kunye kulesisimo" meaning "We stand in this Together."
Her murder has mobilized thousands in the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in South Africa and is seen as a turning point in the fight. The Duchess of Sussex has been advocating for women's rights and female empowerment for several years and it continues to be a major pillar of her work now.
The Duke of Sussex met the President of Malawi and attended a reception at the British High Commission on his first day in Malawi. The Duke also visited Nalikule College of Education to learn more about the Cama network, supported by the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED).
The Duchess of Sussex joined her husband via Skype for the engagement. She was treated to an empowering chant from some of the girls who were in attendance. The Duchess shared some of her thoughts on the initiative and gave a small update on baby Archie (He was taking a nap)
The Duke of Sussex spent his second day in Malawi focused on conservation work. He dedicated a portion of Liwonde National Park to the Queens Commonwealth Canopy and laid a wreath for guardsman, Matthew Talbot, who died on patrol during May of this year. The Duke guest edited the National Geographic instagram throughout the day, drawing people's attention to the importance of trees with #LookingUp .
While in Johannesburg, the Duchess made a private visit to Victoria Yards, a regeneration project that houses design studios, art galleries and a monthly food market. During her visit, the Duchess picked up a pair of dungarees she had pre-ordered and received a surprise pair for Archie. She spoke with some of the local creators, chefs and artists before meeting some local children.
The Duchess undertook two engagements in Johannesburg visiting the University of Johannesburg for a roundtable discussion and ActionAid. Meanwhile the Duke was seen at the Mauwa Health Centre to learn more about the services they provide before travelling back to Johannesburg.
The Duchess became patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities earlier this year and discussed the importance of higher education, especially for girls. She was also able to announce some new scholarships and grants that will allow more girls to receive a university education that may not otherwise be available to them.
During her visit to University of Johannesburg, The Duchess learned more about the work being done at ActionAid, a group that helps educate poor and rural communities on their rights and live with dignity. The Duchess joined a conversation about violence against women and the steps that were being taken to combat it before she privately visited an after school club for girls ages 12 to 16.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were reunited on their final day of the tour for a day of engagements. They began the day at YES (Youth Employment Services) to learn about the problem of unemployment that many young South Africans face. While there, the couple met a local masterchef winner, Chef Mish and partook in training activities that teach participants skills that make them more employable.
They then met with women at Blossom Care Solutions who make thousands of compostable pads for women in their community. This is an essential low cost service to women who need these supplies and often cannot afford to get them elsewhere. Both the Duke and Duchess shared a few words about the difference young people are making in the community and the ingenuity they had seen over their tour.
Later in the day, the Duke and Duchess met with Nelson Madela's widow, Graca Machel who is a humanitarian and women's and children's rights advocate. Following their meeting with Machel, both the Duke and Duchess gave speeches during a reception for young South African entrepreneurs, reflecting on their time in Africa and encouraging the change-makers they had met.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have returned to the United Kingdom and are both expected to pick up their normal schedule as the summer holiday has ended and the Duchess has officially ended her maternity leave. xx