The Symbolic Nod to Princess Diana Behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Africa Trip

Big plans are underway for Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and their new son to take a trip to a place that has special meaning for the royal family: Africa. This is the continent where Prince Harry found himself as a young man, and later where he fell in love with Markle. But most importantly, Africa is a spot Princess Diana held dear. By taking part in this trip, Prince Harry and Markle will be able to honor Princess Diana. Here’s how. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s family trip to Africa

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

It’s been announced that Prince Harry, Markle, and their young son, Archie, will be traveling to Africa this fall. This trip is an important event for the young family. Not only is Africa the place where Prince Harry and Markle fell in love, but it was also a place where Princess Diana did significant work. 

The young family plans to travel all over the Southern African continent, including the countries of South Africa, Malawi, Angola, and Botswana. Although, because Baby Archie is too young for some required vaccinations, the child will only accompany them during safer parts of the trip. It’s thought that the family will be setting up a base in Africa, where Archie will mostly stay with nannies. Prince Harry and Markle will be able to travel to their other destinations from this base. 

The public is eager to get a look at Archie, but a source told US magazine that the reason for bringing him along isn’t to show him off to the world. 

“Archie’s going with his parents because they don’t want to leave him behind in the U.K.,” the source said, “not because they want to show him off at every stop.” That said, Prince Harry and Markle are “planning one or two public moments with him.”

Princess Diana’s work in Africa

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Last week, HRH The Duke of Sussex was proud to co-host a fundraising event for National Geographic’s @intotheokavango – a documentary film that highlights the vulnerability of the critical ecosystem that is The Okavango Delta and its source rivers in Angola. The Okavango Delta is the primary water source for a million people and is home to the world's largest remaining elephant population. His Royal Highness has a long-standing love of Africa and a connection with Botswana and Angola for over 20 years. The Duke is grateful to see National Geographic partnering with the Angolan government, @thehalotrust, @africanparksnetwork and many others in protecting this extraordinary habitat by supporting the sustainable management of the river basin's resources and focusing on a conservation economy. HRH – “Millions of people, food security and regional power generation are dependant on these free-flowing rivers. Threats such as uncontrolled fires, the bushmeat trade, unsustainable harvesting of the forest and rapid biodiversity loss are already destroying this incredible and delicate landscape. Known by the locals as ‘Source of life’, this ecosystem is wilderness at its best, playing an absolutely crucial role for the planet, people and wildlife. This is our one and only chance to save this magnificent last Eden.” (Photos: Cory Richards and John Hilton)

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Africa was a place that Princess Diana held very dear, and a place she did much of her humanitarian work. One of the causes she championed, was working to ban land mines in Angola. Diana brought attention to the cause by stepping out onto an active minefield in 1997, and Prince Harry plans to continue her work during his African trip.

According to an announcement on the website for HALO, the anti-landmine organization that Princess Diana worked with, Prince Harry met with representatives last month to further the cause. The announcement read: “On Monday 17th June, Prince Harry will join HALO, representatives of the Angolan government, conservation experts and philanthropists from across the world to discuss how clearing landmines from the unique Okavango headwaters in Angola is the first step to protecting this precious habitat.”

Princess Diana also worked tirelessly to support those with HIV/AIDS both in her own country and in Africa. Prince Harry has also taken on this cause. According to People, while visiting Malawi, Prince Harry plans to expand the reach of his Sentebale charity, which he co-founded in 2006 with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to support those affected by HIV and AIDS in Lesotho and Malawi. 

Africa played an important role in Prince Harry’s life after his mother’s death

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Tonight, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the first of a two game series of the Major League Baseball #LondonSeries, in support of @WeAreInvictusGames. Tonight’s highly anticipated game between the #Yankees and #RedSox took place at London stadium, Olympic Park. The @WeAreInvictusGames, of which His Royal Highness is Founding Patron, has been selected as charity partner for the @MLB 2019 series. The Invictus Games Foundation is the international charity that oversees the development of the Invictus Games, an international adaptive multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed service personnel and veterans participate. It celebrates the power of sport in recovery and how it can help, physically or psychologically, those suffering from injuries or illness. The word ‘invictus’ means ‘unconquered’ – it embodies the fighting spirit of the competitors. As part of the partnership, the Invictus Games Foundation have a team participating in London’s #Softball60, the social softball series built for the city and targeted to introduce the sport to new audiences and demonstrate that it is an inclusive sport. On this #ArmedForcesDay, tonight’s event was also a chance for Their Royal Highnesses to shine a light on the men and women here in the UK and around the world who have sacrificed so much for their country. Discover more about the Invictus Games Foundation through the link in our bio. Photo credit: PA

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Prince Harry fell in love with Africa after his mother’s death. According to Page Six, Prince Harry said: “I first came in 1997, straight after my mum died. My dad told my brother and me to pack our bag- we were going to Africa to get away from it all. This is where I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world. I wish I could spend more time in Africa. I have this intense sense of complete relaxation and normalcy here.”

Prince Harry has often called Africa his second home and credits the continent with helping him come to terms with his mother’s death. Bringing his young family with him on the trip is a sweet way to stay connected to Princess Diana during this important and emotional time of his life: fatherhood.