As has been widely rumored and quasi-confirmed earlier this week, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will undertake official visits to Africa later this year. Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that Harry and Meghan will together visit South Africa, and that Harry will travel solo to Angola and Malawi at the request of the Foreign Office. While in the region, Harry will make a “working trip” to Botswana, labeled as such because it’s not at the direction of the FO.
Details of these travels plans have been circulating for months now, and I have a feeling that the slip from SA yesterday may have prompted BP to announce before they were ready. Usually (thought not always) details for autumn tours are released at the end of August when the Royal Family is preparing to return from their summer holidays.
The big question is obviously whether the couple will bring Archie with them, and if I had to bet money I would say yes. My guess is that’s part of the reason why Meghan is only joining Harry for South Africa is that the baby will only be around six months (give or take). Some reporters are saying that while Harry travels to Malawi, Angola, and Botswana, Meghan and Archie will remain in South Africa, but unclear if she’ll be carrying out engagements solo during that time.
The other rumor going around is that William and Kate will also be undertaking a foreign tour this year, but in Asia. Based on the reasonable assumption that they’ll focus on Commonwealth countries, countries in consideration are Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Singapore.
The couple have already together visited Singapore and Malaysia (in 2012) and India (in 2016), which is part of what makes this slightly surprising to me. I would have thought they’d deploy Harry and Meghan to Asia, where they’ve never been as a couple, but those African countries better complement Harry’s work and an Asian tour is probably too much for the Sussexes right now given Archie’s age. So, fair enough.
As for whether William and Kate will bring any of their children, I’d imagine that’s less likely thanks to Prince George and Princess Charlotte being in school. In theory, they could opt to bring Prince Louis with them by himself, but I’d be surprised. My guess is that given the time difference and the amount of logistics necessary to move around so many countries, the kids will stay at home with their nanny and Kate’s parents.
I’ll keep you posted as we learn more, and I expect we’ll get a more detailed update towards the end of the summer. Should be a very busy end of year!