Meghan Markle Paid Tribute To Princess Diana in the Sweetest Way in South Africa

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just finished the last day of their ten-day tour of Africa and will be settling back into their routine in England. The tour was a big deal for the Sussexes in many ways, not least of which it was their first official tour as a family of three.

Baby Archie Harrison made a splash while in Africa, meeting and greeting with several dignitaries, and getting more camera time than he has since his birth. The Duchess of Sussex also earned some positive press during the tour and paid tribute to her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, in several touching ways.

What did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle do while in Africa?

Meghan Markle on her royal visit to Africa.
Meghan Markle | Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

The royal couple’s tour of Africa was announced earlier this summer, and many royal watchers looked forward to it for months. Africa is known to be a very special place for both Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, and the two spent a great deal of time there in the months prior to their engagement. Prince Harry, in particular, has a special connection to the place and had retreated there after the tragic death of his mother to have some privacy.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived in Africa in late September and wasted no time getting to work. They traveled all over the continent, visiting with different organizations and working directly with charities that mean the most to them. Both together and separately, Prince Harry and Markle met with dignitaries such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu. For that particular meeting, they even brought along Baby Archie, who charmed everyone present. 

Meghan Markle paid tribute to Princess Diana

View this post on Instagram

“If an international ban on mines can be secured it means, looking far ahead, that the world may be a safer place for this generation's grandchildren.” – Princess Diana, 1997 Today in Angola The Duke of Sussex will retrace his mother’s steps to see the legacy of her work and how her connection with this community helped make the elimination of landmines a reality. In 1997 Diana Princess of Wales visited Huambo to bring global attention to the crisis of landmines and the people whose lives were being destroyed. Two decades later, the area has transformed from desolate and uninhabitable to lively and vibrant, with colleges, schools and small businesses. The Duke is humbled to be visiting a place and a community that was so special to his mother, and to recognise her tireless mission as an advocate for all those she felt needed her voice the most, even if the issue was not universally popular. Princess Diana’s visit helped change the course of history, and directly led to the Convention against Anti-Personal Landmines, also known as the Ottawa Treaty. Today, with the support of @thehalotrust, Angola now has a stated aim under the Treaty to be clear of known mines by 2025. Despite great progress, 60 million people worldwide still live in fear of landmines every day. During his visit today, The Duke will walk along the street which was once the minefield where his mother was famously pictured. #RoyalTourAfrica #RoyalVisitAngola Photo©️PA

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

On the last day of Prince Harry and Markle’s tour of Africa, the two gave heartfelt speeches about how much their time there has meant to them. Prince Harry said that Africa has held him “in an embrace he will never forget,” and that he will attempt to raise Archie with the values of strength of community and friendship that he has witnessed in Africa.

As for Markle, she claimed that the people that they have met during their tour have been “such an inspiration.” Markle has made it clear during her time in Africa that she feels the power of those who have gone before her. Princess Diana also had a very strong connection to Africa and spent a great deal of time doing charity work there.

As a sweet nod to Princess Diana, whom she never got the chance to meet, Markle even put baby Archie in a white pom-pom hat that is nearly identical to one that Prince Harry wore to Africa when he was a baby, around the same age as Archie.

What’s next for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry?

View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

Sadly, their trip to Africa was not all happy memories. While they were there, it was announced that they would be suing the Mail on Sunday, a newspaper that published a private letter Markle wrote to her estranged father around the time of her marriage to Prince Harry. The Mail on Sunday announced that they stand by their story, so Prince Harry and Markle should definitely be preparing for a fight.

Still, royal fans are hopeful that their tour provided them with some much-needed goodwill, and an opportunity to begin to rebuild the narrative around the couple. They have suffered from the negative press for quite some time, and the tour certainly earned them some new friends and fans. Certainly, Princess Diana would be very proud of the work that they have done.