Meghan and Harry wrapped up their ten-day tour several engagements in Johannesburg today. After their visit to the Tembisa Township this morning, where they visited several initiatives tackling unemployment, they met Graca Machel, widow of the late Nelson Mandela.
Upon arrival to meet Graca, Meghan said: ‘It’s so good to see you.’ Graca replied: ‘It’s wonderful meeting you. I’m sure we’re going to be working together in the future. I can feel the vibe.’ Graca, whose husband Nelson Mandela was the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 and died in 2013, looked lovely in a blue floral skirt and top.
Speaking with Harry, whom she met in London earlier this year and last in South Africa in 2015, she said: ‘Harry, welcome, it’s so good to see you again.’ Harry replied ‘You look amazing. How do you manage it?’
Inside, Graca decribed to Harry how “wonderful” it’s been seeing him retrace his mother’s footsteps in Angola.
Later, Meghan was greeted as she attended a creative industries and business reception in Johannesburg
Watch designer Lunga Ntuli presented a gifts to Meghan. The timepieces featured beaded straps in the colours purple, white, red, and blue for a Nkosana or prince, and pink, green and yellow for a Nkosazana – princess.
Lunga said afterwards: ‘She said to me ‘it’s not just it’s a watch that has meaning, a watch that has a story, that’s so fulfilling’. It has a little love note in it, which tells the story behind the colours which all have meaning.’
Meghan also met a familiar face Thato Kgatlhanye a young woman she had a few years ago in Ireland.
Thato later said: ‘I told Meghan that in 2014 we bonded even before she was even a Duchess. I had gone to the One Young World conference in Dublin, and she remembered meeting me! I was in the audience, and they asked for an opinion on social impact on the African continent and I stood up and gave an answer. Afterwards she said on the stage ‘I have to come and hug you’ – She came down and hugged me and I took a selfie and she remembered today. And she gave me another hug.’
Meghan also met Neliswa Fente who is the co-founded of the youth led innovation firm Spring Age. After meeting Meghan she said: ‘My organisation brings together young people to tackle our problems on this continent. Meghan loved it. She thinks the idea of the millennial board was great and important to go into corporates. Young people are our biggest commodity and sometimes they may not have stuff but they have their brains and we can bring them together.’
During the tour, Meghan has delivered numerous powerful and inspiring speeches – but the one she delivered at the business reception just had another level. Talking about their trip she said: “Whether for Harry, Archie and me in South Africa, or for my husband as he was travelling Botswana, Angola and Malawi, please know that you have all given us so much inspiration, so much hope – and above all, you have given us joy.”
You can watch both Harry and Meghan’s speech here:
Meghan’s full speech:
‘Thank you for yet another wonderful welcome, I can’t believe it’s almost time to say goodbye to this country.
From the moment we arrived we were greeted by the rhythm and energy of the Mbokodo girls in Nyanga – and I knew that this trip was going to be something incredibly special. So, just begin by saying thank you to all of the people we’ve met – on behalf of both of us, and of course Archie – we are so grateful. This trip has meant so much to us as a family, but also to me personally.
As you know, reading about the death of Uyinene, and hearing about the protests weighed heavily on my mind. Gender based violence is a harrowing reality for many women around the world. And for some, like the beautiful and talented Uyinene, this violence has taken women from us who have – who had – a life full of hope and dreams ahead of them. Yet if there is any possible hope in this situation, if there is some sliver of light, it is that people are paying attention like never before.
The recent crisis has sparked a much-needed conversation in South Africa, and the world is listening. I met a group of young girls yesterday who wanted to talk to me about their experience. Some of which was harrowing.
Yet despite everything they had been through, they said the saddest thing was to watch the continued degradation of women, and that they wanted to be part of a movement where both women and men play a role in turning that around.
As someone who has been a long-time advocate of women’s and girls’ rights, I worried about what was happening and my intention on this tour was to meet with women across South Africa to listen and to learn.
So from students to politicians, from apartheid campaigners of the 50s to teenagers on a beach, from the mothers with HIV providing health care to their community, and to the entrepreneurs who are driving the businesses of the future – they all showed me a power and a solidarity that, in this moment, in this time, all women, and all people, can take strength and inspiration from. Because these amazing African women have discovered self-belief and found their worth.
At our visit this earlier this morning I was struck by a small sign that was posted on the wall for the female entrepreneurs – and it said: “visualize your highest self, and show up as her”. This is the spirit of the women and girls I have met on this trip.
They are not defining themselves by how they compare to others, or making their success and marking it against historical expectations. They are simply paving their own path, they have their own voice, and they are being listened to.
And as I’ve said before, I firmly believe that all women have a voice, they just need to feel empowered to use it, and people need to feel encouraged to listen. There is a role for all of us here. As women we can listen to one another, and lift each other up, we can raise our boys to be men who value women. And for men and boys, you can lead by example and not let your mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and girlfriends ever feel that they are lesser than you. I remember being a young girl watching TV and seeing what was happening in the world, and frankly, often feeling despair. Because when you continue and constantly see and hear negativity, it can be overwhelming; you can feel powerless, and lost, you can feel different, confused, or like you don’t belong.
And I’m sure there is a young girl or boy watching this and thinking the maybe exact same thing. So, this is for you.
In a world that that can seem so aggressive, confrontational, and dangerous, you should know that you have the power to change it. Because whether you’re here in South Africa, at home in the UK or the US, or around the world, you actually have the power within you to change things, and that begins with how you connect to others.
I have learned from the people I’ve met here, that whether it’s about society’s expectations of masculinity or femininity, or how we divide ourselves by race or faith or class or status- everyone has value, and everyone deserves to be heard and respected. And if you live your life in that way, your generation will start to value each other in ways the rest of us have not yet been able to do so.
Over the past 10 days our family has had emotional moments, we’ve has poignant moments, we’ve had spiritual moments; we’ve met inspirational leaders in every walk of life, and we’ve been treated to incredible food, music, and dancing, but above all, we have been able to meet the people that are the rocks behind the sort of work that really means a so much to us. It has been affirming to learn that we’re not alone in the things that we believe in, and the principles we hold so dear.
No matter how different our lives may seem – Africa, you have made us feel part of your community, of our shared community.
On our visit to the Mosque in Bo Kapp, one of the women told us that the way we change the world is to honour the dignity of difference. And in this we can find strength. When we can bridge divides, and meet, as human beings with different experiences, we can all find connection – and in that connection we become more aware of one another, more aware of our place in the world. We find hope, and self-worth, we can find optimism and courage, and ultimately, we can find joy.
So whether for Harry, Archie and me in South Africa, or for my husband as he was travelling Botswana, Angola and Malawi, please know that you have all given us so much inspiration, so much hope – and above all, you have given us joy.’
The tour later came to an end as the couple met South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, and First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe in Pretoria for a private audience.
Watch a video from the meeting here:
They then went on exchanging gifts including artwork while Meghan gave the couple a copy of Together: Our Community Cookbook.
High Commissioner Nigel Casey later shared a video of Meghan and Harry with the President and Dr Motsepe at Mahlamba Ndlopfu. Watch it below
For the final engagement of today Meghan rewore her her sleeveless blush House of Nonie trench dress – a very thoughtful choice as she first wore it in July 2019 to officially open the Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.
She styled it with her favourite Stuart Weitzman Legend pumps in haze beige.
She accessorised with the Jennifer Meyer turquoise stud earrings she’s worn several times during the tour – with the matching ring
A perfect end to a memorable tour! Over the last 10 days, supported by Harry, we´ve seen Meghan shine in a very powerful way. We are used to seeing a red-carpet treatment for incoming royals at the start of an international tour. But it was different this time!
Meghan and Harry landed in Cape Town last Monday and headed straight to their first stop in the Nyanga township for their first media moment.
During his speech that day talked about “redefining masculinity” while Meghan spoke “as a woman of color and as your sister.” She added that “the rights of women and girls is something that’s very close to my heart and a cause I’ve spent the majority of my life advocating for.” And with that she set the tone for the rest of the tour. Each key moment after that spoke to the same thing, leaving nobody in any doubt over her mission.
As they danced out of the engagement to thumping beats, it felt like they had found their standpoint and they seemed more relaxed and more engaged than I have seen during previous joint engagements and royal tours. Perhaps Meghan had also discovered the same connection with this part of the world that her husband has long enjoyed.
Nazli Edross-Fakier a lady Meghan had tea with during their day in Boo-Kaap later said: “I think the whole Cape Town tour has been a relaxed thing and she’s pleasantly surprised at the welcome and the niceness of the people.”
Meghan has clearly demonstrated over the last 10 days how she is stepping into her role as a royal. She’s owning it in the same way Diana did by engaging personally in issues she so evidently connects with.
If Harry is continuing his mother’s legacy by adopting her causes, then Meghan may also be, intentionally or not, adopting her spirit.