The Special Meaning Behind Meghan Markle’s Henna Tattoo

All eyes were on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when they arrived in Morocco for a three-day visit yesterday. While their itinerary was made public, many wondered if Markle would get a henna tattoo during their trip.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrives to meet children from the Education For All boarding house on February 24, 2019, in the town of Asni on the foothills of the High Atlas mountains. - Prince Harry and his wife Meghan arrived in Morocco.
Meghan Markle | FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s visit to Morocco

The royal couple have a jam-packed schedule during their visit, which included meeting with schoolchildren and teachers as they toured a school in Asni Town in the Atlas Mountains, as well as visiting the original Education For All boarding house.

Royal commentator Omid Scobie shared the details on Twitter, writing: “In Asni Town for Harry and Meghan’s first engagement of the day. Students from the @EFAMorocco boarding house (where girls from rural areas stay to be closer schools to continue their education) are ready for the couple’s arrival.”

Scobie also shared the details of Prince Harry presenting Michael McHugo with a special honor: “Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan arrive at the first of @EFAMorocco’s five boarding houses. Here Harry will invest founder Michael McHugo with the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (recognizing his services to improving gender equality in education in Morocco).”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, receiving henna tattoo, during visit to Morocco.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle |Tim P. Whitby – Pool/Getty Images

The special meaning of Meghan Markle’s henna tattoo

During their visit to the boarding house, Markle received a henna tattoo on her right hand while Prince Harry watched. The henna flower was more than just decorative, however — it also celebrates her pregnancy as part of Moroccan tradition.

Following the tattoo session, Meghan noted, “That’s really lovely.”

The 17-year-old girl, Samira, who applied the tattoo, explained the significance of the henna: “It is a traditional practice for pregnant women in Morocco. It is to bring luck for the baby.”

The tradition of giving a pregnant woman a tattoo during their third trimester is to bless mother and child as well as keep away evil spirits during labor.

Meghan Markle close up of henna tattoo received during pregnancy on trip to Morocco with Prince Harry.
Meghan Markle’s henna tattoo | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/ WireImage

Is henna safe during pregnancy?

Many people were concerned about whether it was safe for Meghan Markle to have henna applied during her pregnancy. According to PEOPLE, “Natural henna, typically brown and derived solely from plants, and with no added chemicals, is safe to use during pregnancy, according to experts. Black henna, however, contains a dye called para-phenylenediamine (PPD) and is not safe.”

One of the housemothers explained to PEOPLE why this visit from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is so important.  Khadeja Oukattou shared: “It’s a dream for us to have the couple here. The girls are so, so happy to have them here. We are really happy to have them in our house.”

Oukattou continued: “It’s for when we have a big party. Now she is pregnant we do the henna to keep her happy with with the baby. For good luck.”

There was excitement in the air over Markle’s pregnancy, Oukattou explained, noting that the girls “wished them a good life and good health for them and the baby.”

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton both got henna tattoos while pregnant

Fun fact: Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton both received a henna tattoo while pregnant! Middleton had a small henna tattoo of a flower placed on her hand when she was 7 months pregnant with Prince Louis during a visit to Sunderland.