Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Acting Like Completely Different People on Their Africa Tour

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just touched down for the first part of their much-anticipated Africa tour looking radiant. The glowing couple, who brought their son Archie along for the journey, spent some time conversing with locals, dancing, and seeming quite pleased with themselves. In fact, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are behaving quite differently than normal.

It probably has something to do with how high the stakes are for this special trip. After a few high-profile public scandals, including a bad PR situation including private jet usage and environmental lectures, it seems like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are more desperate for public approval than ever. Here’s how they plan to get it.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | BETRAM MALGAS/AFP/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are acting like regular people

They may have two of the most recognized faces on the planet, but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are acting in a unique way during this trip. For starters, they took a commercial flight to South Africa rather than risk public wrath by using another private jet. Plus, the couple instructed officials to leave the red carpet at home.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex skipped the traditional red carpet arrival photos and simply headed right to a women’s shelter in Cape Town after their plane touched down. The message behind this move was obvious. Instead of embracing their celebrity status, Harry and Meghan were showing everyone how serious they were about getting to work.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are ditching formality and procedures

It’s clear that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle know that their reputations are at stake on this trip, and they’re certainly acting as if they care about their image plus the work they plan on accomplishing.

“This isn’t a holiday and they don’t want it to look like one,” a source explained to Vanity Fair. “This has been months in the planning and a lot of hard work has gone into the schedule. Their Royal Highnesses want to do some serious work on the ground, particularly at a community level.”

One way the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are acting differently is by skipping the fancy state dinner that’s a mainstay of most royal tours. Instead of attending an event which would require a gown, a tux, and fancy jewelry, Harry and Meghan are keeping it casual.

The theme of this trip is “friendly and approachable,” not “rich and famous.”

Harry and Meghan want African locals to use their first names, no titles

View this post on Instagram

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

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

They’re members of the royal family, so Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would be well within their rights to insist upon people using their formal titles. But instead, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex didn’t send ahead etiquette rules, preferring for anyone they meet and press members to simply use their first names.

“I have no idea how to speak to them. We haven’t received any official brief on etiquette. I think that’s because the Sussexes want to keep it informal. I don’t even know how to greet them,” Jacky Poking, secretary of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association, revealed in South Africa’s Sunday Times

“It’s very much how they want things done,” a source explained to Vanity Fair “There is no protocol that says you have to bow or curtsy when you meet them, it’s really up to the individual.”

It’ll be interesting to see what other surprises Prince Harry and Meghan Markle display on this whirlwind tour of Africa.