‘Your sister’: Meghan sends crowd wild
The Duchess of Sussex has made her mark on her first official royal tour, delivering a powerful speech in Nyanga that the crowd went wild for.
Speaking just outside Cape Town on Monday, the 38-year-old Duchess told the audience they were "vital" and "extraordinary".
"And just on one personal note, may I just say that while I am here with my husband as a member of the royal family, I want you to know that for me I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister.
"I am here with you and I am here for you and I thank you so much for showing my husband and I the spirit of Ubuntu and I look forward to our time over the next few days together," she said.
The speech drew huge cheers from the crowd at the Justice Desk centre that focuses on teaching self-defence and empowerment to women and girls in one of South Africa's most impoverished areas.
The Duchess also quoted Maya Angelou, saying: "Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it, possibly without claiming it, she stands up for all women."
MEGHAN DITCHES RINGS, DONATES FOR ARCHIE
The Justice Desk was the first stop on the 10 day tour which is the Sussexes' first as a family. Earlier, they were pictured arriving in Cape Town on a delayed flight from London's Heathrow.
Four-month old baby Archie was wearing a white bobble hat, similar to one Prince Harry has been pictured in as a baby.
Archie did not appear at the first official engagement, and is not scheduled for any official visits on the trip. However, Meghan, is expected to donate gifts and clothes originally intended for him to a mother's charity on Wednesday.
Archie recently made his first philanthropic gesture with his parents making a donation in his name to help children learn to swim in Mozambique, after Meghan reportedly spotted the fundraiser on Instagram.
A simple donation of $4350 (A$7984) from "Archie HMW" was made, later confirmed to be from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
At the Nyana township the couple danced and greeted children and community leaders. At one state Meghan was caught on camera laughing at Prince Harry as he unwittingly stood in the middle of a room while the others cleared space for a group photograph.
Archie was given a special Xhosa name of Ntsika, meaning pillar of strength, according to royal reporter Emily Andrews.
"The local grandmothers gave Archie the name: Harry & Meghan loved the name. In SA we say they are welcomed home," she said.
Meghan wore a $120 dress by the label Mayamiko, an ethical and sustainable woman's wear and lifestyle brand, producing clothes made in Malawi. She wore $80 espadrilles and had her hair pulled back in a simple ponytail, while Prince Harry wore a white shirt and dark trousers.
Eagle-eyed fans noticed that the Duchess had ditched her famous engagement ring for the visit, wearing a simple jade stone instead.
Prince Harry told the crowd his aim was "redefining masculinity."
"To me, the real testament of your strength isn't physical, it's what's up here and what's in here," he said tapping his head and heart. "Your strength is in your spirit, which for me means honouring and protecting my wife, and being a positive role model for my son."
Ahead of their visit the local army and police blocked off the tiny street that leads to the church and the venue had remained top secret until the last minute.
Speaking ahead of the tour on Sunday, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said the couple were "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 program, four countries in ten days, and we have an extra special small passenger to make things more lively."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex travelled straight from the airport to their accommodation to settle down Archie, who was not present at the first official engagement.
They also toured the District Six Museum to learn about its work to reunite families forced apart by apartheid, followed by a community cooking activity with former residents of District Six.
District Six is a former inner-city residential area that had different races living side-by-side until the Apartheid government declared it a whites-only area in 1966 and 60,000 residents were forcibly relocated.
However the visit has already proved controversial as it snubs the District Six Working Committee, which represents more than 3000 families who have fought to return to the homes they were removed from by the apartheid system.
Chairperson Shahied Ajam called on Prince Harry to apologise for "the monster that his forbears created" and said he was "perplexed that the committee hasn't been invited," according to IOL South Africa reports.
"Prince Harry is a representative of a former colonial power that was the architect of what transpired in District Six. Forced removals and the other apartheid evils had their roots in colonialism. The English don't have a good history in South Africa. They enforced and implemented segregation," he said.
"So why weren't we, as a major stakeholder, told about the visit or invited to participate? For me, that is an indication from the royal house that they are not interested in the plight of the people of District Six," he said.
The 10-day tour is the first official family trip for the Sussexes and will focus on wildlife protection, entrepreneurship, mental health and mine clearance - including a stop to a site where Princess Diana famously walked through an active landmine field.
On Wednesday, Prince Harry will leave Meghan and Archie for visits to Botswana, Angola and Malawi.