Four-month-old Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, accompanied by his parents, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, met Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu yesterday at the Old Granary, a historic building in Cape Town, South Africa, which is home to the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. The Archbishop’s daughter Thandeke joined the group for tea and conversation while an amused Archie smiled and drooled his way through the event.
The Archbishop is internationally known for his tireless work for causes close to the Duke and Duchess’ hearts – equality, justice, and human rights. For many years he was a central figure in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his work. The Archbishop was appointed Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee by President Nelson Mandela, which aimed to heal some of the wounds inflicted by apartheid.
Details of the visit had been kept private until this morning. It is understood the Archbishop, now 87, has recently had health issues, which may have precluded adding the event to the official schedule. He has been retired from public life since the late 1990s.
While the Duke prepared to depart for his solo portion of the tour, after a quick change of clothes the Duchess continued her day with a visit to the Woodstock neighbourhood of Cape Town, home to a number of small business and tech-savvy business incubators. Meghan met specifically with twelve women entrepreneurs, all part of a group called “Ladies Who Launch.” She was welcomed by UK SA Tech Hub director Shirley Gilbey and learned about the group’s mission – to bring together potential businesswomen, investors, and corporate officials to network and share experiences.
Speaking of the challenges faced by working mothers everywhere, the Duchess said “We’re only 5 months in right now. Being a working mum & travelling as well with a baby, it’s a lot, but it’s all so exciting. There are days when it’s a lot to juggle but then you meet someone, have an impact on them and it’s so rewarding.”
The visit to this organisation is thus perfectly aligned with women’s rights and empowerment, two issues the Duchess has championed since she was a girl.
For her final engagement today the Duchess went to Mothers2Mothers, a nonprofit organisation carrying out critical work in the fight against HIV/AIDS in sub-Sahran Africa. Founded in 2001 the group’s initial mission was to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus. Now, however, its scope has broadened to “train and employ women living with HIV as community health workers. These “Mentor Mothers” work in local communities and at understaffed health facilities to ensure that women and their families get the health advice and medication they need, are linked to the right clinical services, and are supported on their treatment journey”, according to the organisation’s web page.
The Duchess wasted no time chatting with mothers and health care providers, getting down on the floor and encouraging others to do the same.
Baby Archie may not have been there in person but he was fully present in spirit: the Duchess brought items of clothing he had outgrown to donate to Mothers2Mothers’s clients.
“In the spirit of community” Meghan brought some of Archie’s baby clothes to @m2mtweets, including a onesie saying “The Future” and his @WeAreInvictus one that he’s outgrown. She also brought donations from her friends with children: #sussexroyaltour #Archie pic.twitter.com/pgtrkEGhNS
— Emily Nash (@emynash) September 25, 2019
What a lovely ending to a busy day!