Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal tour of Africa was a resounding success, as they won over even their harshest critics with a laid back approach that allowed them to make connections with everyone they met. The Sussexes also made history with their son, Archie, accompanying them on the tour.
Baby Archie’s history-making appearance
Among the many stops the Sussexes made during their extended royal tour of Africa, fans and the media were most won over with the couple bringing baby Archie for a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter.
In an interview with Nine News Australia, royal expert Juliette Rieden claimed that Archie’s appearance allowed the couple to “make history.” She explained: “What a place for Archie to have his world stage debut.”
She continued: “What was really interesting was the way in which they chose to introduce Archie to the world and it was in an audience with Desmond Tutu, one of our most revered historical icons. This is Archie making history at four months old… It obviously meant a lot to both Meghan and Harry, to do it that way. Normally, when we see a young child — we’ve never seen a four-month-old on tour before.”
She continued: “But when we saw William on tour or when we saw George on tour as babies, it was in a playdate scenario with other children. Or in a situation where there were parents around and it was a sort of mother-and-baby scenario. Archie is going straight for the jugular here, isn’t he?”
Rieden further noted: “He’s going to be a world leader, he is meeting a world leader. Harry and Meghan knew exactly what they were doing there — they wanted to make history and they definitely did.”
Archie follows other young royals on tour
Baby Archie definitely broke a royal record with his participation on this tour as royal family children are usually slightly older when they travel. Prince William was nine months old when he traveled with Prince Charles and Princess Diana to Australia in 1983. Prince George was also nine-months-old when Prince William and Kate Middleton took him to Australia in 2014.
Prince Harry made his first appearance during a royal tour in Venice with Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Prince William when he was six months old in 1985.
How Prince Harry and Markle won over the media after their tour
Prince Harry and Markle certainly gained some fans in the media during and after their royal tour of Africa, with Rieden noting: “After all those criticisms and jibes that we’ve been covering for weeks on end… here is Meghan and Harry doing what they both do best, which is meeting people, inspiring people, changing the face of the royal family, I think.”
She continued, “They don’t meet people with a handshake, we’ve seen that, they go in for the hug every time. And they love it, everybody loves it, everybody loves that personal contact.”
She further explained how they’ve won over the media a bit, noting: “The headlines this week [during the tour] have been sensational, basically the tour has already been called a sensation. There is no question that Harry and Meghan are very important members of the monarchy… They, along with William and Kate, are the young royals that are going to move the monarchy forward.”
“Yes, they’re doing it in their own way and, largely, the public like that,” Rieden shared, adding, “They are so impressive when they’re meeting people, they really do care, they really do listen, they really do want to interact and get involved and make a difference. It’s not just handshakes, it’s not just cutting ribbons with them.”