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Who is looking after Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet during their parents' Nigeria trip?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can count on the Duchess' mother

Ainhoa Barcelona
Content Managing Editor
11 May 2024
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are visiting Nigeria for three days to champion causes close to their heart, from sport and the Invictus Games, to mental health.

The couple decided to leave their two young children Prince Archie, who has just celebrated his fifth birthday, and Princess Lilibet, who is turning three in June, at home in Montecito, California.

So who is looking after the royal children?

Doria with baby Archie
Doria seen with Archie when he was a baby

Meghan's mother Doria Ragland

Meghan, and husband Harry, are extremely close to the Duchess' mother Doria Ragland. While Doria is based in Los Angeles, she does travel to Montecito to see her grandchildren regularly. 

The Sussexes reportedly have a two-bedroom, two-bathroom guest house on their £11million property, which is perfect for Doria to use.

Their impressive estate also features an adventure playground complete with two slides, a climbing frame, a tightrope, a helter skelter, and two types of climbing wall – perfect to keep the children occupied while Harry and Meghan are away.

Archie in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's garden at their Montecito home© Netflix
Archie seen in the garden at the family's Montecito home, courtesy of their Netflix documentary

The Sussexes also have a nanny to help with childcare, so between the nanny and family, Archie and Lili are in very capable hands.

Why Archie and Lili stayed in California

Speaking on HELLO!'s A Right Royal Podcast, HELLO!'s Royal Editor Emily Nash explained why Harry and Meghan decided not to bring their children on their travels. "It's not easy to do these things at the best of times, let alone with small children," Emily said.

ITV News' Chris Ship also added: "Also Nigeria, a very, very big country that also has some of its own security issues at the moment. So, I would have thought they won't be taking their kids, if you ask me now."

You can listen to the full podcast here:

LISTEN: Why Archie and Lilibet have not joined Harry and Meghan in Nigeria

Lili loves 'singing and dancing'

Archie and Lili are clearly on their parents' minds though. On the first day of their mini tour during a visit to Lightway Academy in Abuja, a school supported by Harry and Meghan's Archewell Foundation, the couple stopped by a kindergarten class where children aged two to five danced and sung songs for them. 

Harry asked them: "Is singing and dancing your favourite class?"

"That's Lili's favorite class," Meghan said of their two-year-old daughter. "Maybe it's all the jumping around."

Meghan Markle holding baby Princess Lilibet at Montecito mansion© Netflix
Lili, pictured as a baby, loves 'singing and dancing' said mum Meghan

Archie's a fan of construction

The Sussexes were then taken to a STEM class where a group of youngsters showed the robot cars they'd created, with one proudly saying his was called M-Bot. 

As Harry asked the class whether they enjoyed electronics, Meghan revealed that their son Archie liked construction. 

During their time at the school, Harry and Meghan helped to launch an inaugural mental health summit run by local non-profit, GEANCO, which the couple's Archewell Foundation is linked with. 

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