Royal Tour LIVE: Meghan Markle, Harry and Archie arrive in South Africa - 'Not a holiday'
Meghan and Harry's first official trip to Africa together "isn't a holiday", as stated by a senior source who has been closely involved with planning the tour since March. In fact, upon arriving at Cape Town later this morning to kick start their 10-day tour, the couple will immediately head to a women's shelter rather than spend their first minutes in South Africa at a welcome ceremony.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made it clear to their aides they have travelled south to make an impact as big as possible and meet hundreds of South Africans, according to the insider.
Speaking at a press reception in Cape Town ahead of the beginning of the tour, the source told Vanity Fair: "This isn't a holiday and they don't want it to look like one.
"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."
Meghan and Harry will take on as many as 86 official engagements in the next few days - including a solo visit by Meghan at Mothers2Mothers on Wednesday in Cape Town, an organisation helping parents living with HIV, added to the already packed schedule only a few hours ago.
While Meghan and Harry's visits have been made public, it is unclear whether their firstborn Archie will take part in any official engagement or will be seen at all within the next days.
The family-of-three is travelling travel together across South Africa, focusing on Cape Town and Johannesburg.READ MORE: Meghan Markle to give Archie's clothes and toys away on Africa tour
Harry is also to make a number of solo trips to Botswana, Malawi and Angola.
The much-anticipated royal tour is also to mark an emotional moment for Prince Harry, who earlier this month revealed on Instagram he "can't wait to introduce" Meghan and Archie to the continent often visited by his mother, late Princess Diana.
The Duke of Sussex will homage his mother's work later this week, when he will travel to Angola to speak about the importance of continuing the de-mining work launched in the 1990s, also thanks to Diana's campaigning.Follow this latest blog for live update on the royal tour (all times in BST). 9.30am update: Archie will make 'things a little more lively' during the tour
Meghan and Harry's tour will be "a little more lively" thanks to the presence of four-month-old Archie, a source said.
Their firstborn is travelling with his parents across South Africa, a trip that will "truly demonstrate the modern UK-Africa partnership in action", according to a source.
The palace source added: "It's a busy programme - which is four countries in ten days.
"And obviously, we have an extra special small passenger to make things a little more lively."9am update: South Africa-based charity benefitted from Meghan and Harry's baby shower campaign
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have helped a South African-based charity even before arriving in Cape Town.
Thanks to a campaign launched by Meghan and Harry in April, the Lunchbox Fund will provide an extra 152,000 school meals to South African children-in-need.
The Duke and Duchess launched their #globalsussexbabyshower campaign ahead of the birth of Archie, which urged royal fans to donate to four organisations of the royals' choice, including the Lunchbox Fund, instead of buying presents for their son.
The South African charity has since received £24,900 ($31,000) from royal fans and generous donors.
The Lunchbox Fund is dedicated to feeding schoolchildren in some of the most impoverished regions of South Africa.
Each meal is provided at school, which offers a strong incentive for a child to attend school daily and for their families to support their educational progress and keep them in school.
This helps each child get the education they desperately need to build a life free of poverty for themselves and their families.8.37am update: Meghan and Harry want a relaxed tour without formality
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry want to have as little formality as possible during their tour, according to aides.
Security officers will protect the royals at all time, but the Duke and Duchess want their engagements to be relaxed and allow them to meet and speak to as many people as possible.
A source told Vanity Fair: "It's very much how they want things done.
"There is no protocol that says you have to bow or curtsy when you meet them, it's really up to the individual."8.20am update: Meghan, Harry and Archie arrive in South Africa
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Archie have safely landed in South Africa.
The Duke and Duchess' tour will officially start within a few hours, when they will touch down in Cape Town.
There, Meghan and Harry will view a workshop that teaches children about their rights, self-awareness and safety, and watch self-defence classes and female empowerment training for young girls in the community.
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