Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are en route to South Africa with baby Archie

It's the first official African visit for The Duke and Duchess

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and baby son Archie are en route to South Africa as they embark on their first-ever overseas tour as a family. Harry and Meghan and their four-month-old little boy will arrive in Cape Town, where they are thought to be basing themselves at the High Commissioner's residence.

At a briefing ahead of their 10-day tour, a royal spokeswoman said: "Their Royal Highnesses are very much looking forward to their arrival in Africa tomorrow on their first official tour as a family. As you well know, Africa holds a very special place in the Duke’s heart and he is looking forward to sharing South Africa with the duchess and their son. It is a really busy programme, four countries in ten days, and we have an extra special small passenger to make things more lively."

The couple will begin their engagements in a Cape Town township, where they will both speak out on the recent epidemic of violence against women in South Africa, which has been described as a national emergency by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The exact location will be revealed nearer the time for security reasons, but the Duke and Duchess will visit a women's shelter and a workshop teaching children about their rights and giving them self-defence and safety training.

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The royal couple will also visit the District Six Museum, which commemorates the forced relocation of 60,000 people during the Apartheid era and join a community cooking demonstration at the District Six Homecoming Centre. Although officials have not confirmed whether Archie will be seen in public during the visit, royal watchers are hoping to catch a glimpse of the little boy. And Meghan plans to donate some of his used gifts and clothing to other babies being supported by the mothers2mothers project, which trains and employs women living with HIV as frontline health workers across eight African nations.

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A source said: "The Duke and Duchess were inundated with gifts for baby Archie from organisations and the general public. They were incredibly grateful but one little baby can only wear so many clothes and he’s growing fast! So the Duchess decided to bring a number of his presents to had on to South African children and families most in need. She’ll take a selection of clothes, books and pens to the mothers2mothers charity which helps families with HIV." 

Meghan is also expected to do a recipe swap with members of the District Six Homecoming Centre and has brought them a copy of her Grenfell cookbook, Together: Our Community Cookbook. She is also bringing pencils and colouring books to hand out on her visit to mothers2mothers. A source said: "She will be bringing gifts as she always would on a visit." British High Commissioner to South Africa Nigel Casey said the royal visit would play an important part in celebrating, sustaining and renewing what is a dynamic, modern relationship between the U.K. and South Africa. "It’s also an opportunity to shine a spotlight on some issues close to the hearts of the duke and duchess and of real importance to the South Africans," he said. "It will also be a chance to underline the strength and continuity of our royal family’s ties to South Africa. And in particular to recall the warm and special relationship between her majesty the Queen and the late President Mandela."