Royal Roundup: Possible Tours, Sophie in Lebanon & 500 Words

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Happy Friday! I thought we’d celebrate with a quick royal roundup on a few odds and ends going on with the Royal Family this week.

Let’s start with this reported, but so far unconfirmed, tour to Africa that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may take this autumn. A few countries have been thrown around, including Angola and Malawi. The Sun and ITV are reporting that the couple will be in Angola as ambassadors for the HALO Trust, an organization focused on the removal of landmines.

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Harry has very much picked up that particular mantle left by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who was famously photographed walking through an active landmine field in Angola just six months before her death in 1997.

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Harry will attend a conference on the issue in London next week, and it’s believed that the potential tour will also further the work of his charity Sentebale, which is focused on supporting the health of those afflicted with HIV/Aids. Earlier this week, he attended a charity concert for Sentebale at Hampton Court Palace.

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It’s unclear how long this visit will last. As you may remember, earlier this spring it was rumored that the Palace was exploring the possibility of a two or three-year long residency for the Sussexes, but I think that’s less likely than just a longer than usual tour. And if they do go this autumn, I think it’s likely they will bring Archie with them, so we may well get to see a good bit of him as the family travels.

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As for the Cambridges, it’s believed that they too will be making a tour later this year. While the Duke of Cambridge has made a handful of trips abroad in the last 18 months, the Duchess hasn’t participated in a tour since she and William were in Sweden and Norway in the winter of 2018. With Prince Louis now over a year, they should be all cleared to travel.

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No word on where just yet, but William did meet with The Governor-General designate of Australia, General the Honourable David Hurley, on Wednesday at Buckingham Palace with the Queen. As has been pointed out by royal reporters, that may well be an indication that he and Kate are headed back to Oz. William and Kate last visited the country in the spring of 2014, however given that Harry and Meghan were there last fall, it would be a tad surprising.

In other Kate news, she has partnered with CBBC’s Blue Peter to launch a competition for viewers to design and submit a sculpture that would end up in the Duchess’s “Back to Nature” garden when it ends up in RHS Garden Wisley this September. You can watch the video released below:

Over at Clarence House, the Duchess of Cornwall has long been an advocate for literacy, particularly children’s literacy. This morning she announced the winners of BBC 2’s creative writing competition for children 13 and under, 500 Words, at Windsor Castle.

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She participated as an honorary judge this year, and so helped pick the finalists, who she was then able to meet at today’s event, as well as other participants.

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And finally, the Countess of Wessex (Sophie, wife of the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex), has spent the last few days in Lebanon meeting with Syrian refugees. This is the first official visit a member of the British Royal Family has made to Lebanon, so this is rather a big deal – and an honor – for Sophie.

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During the trip, Sophie is learning more about the UK’s efforts to support women and children in the region following the ongoing refugee crisis. This is line with a few of her charitable initiatives, including supporting the UK’s Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, and the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI). The latter organization was set up by Angelina Jolie and former Foreign Secretary William Hague in 2014.

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And with that, we’re officially rounded up. We’ll convene again on Monday for Garter Day, so see you then. Have a great weekend in the meantime!

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