Pack those bags, little Archie!
The British High Commissioner to South Africa just confirmed the royal tour of Africa rumors, and that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be visiting South Africa this fall.
In mid-June, ITV made the announcement that the first big royal tour for the Sussexes would take them to the countries of Angola, Malawi and South Africa later this year. Although this was never confirmed by Buckingham Palace, it was reported that the royal couple would carry out the legacy of Princess Diana’s humanitarian work by spending time on the continent she loved and often traveled to, among other charitable visits.
South Africa's British High Commissioner Nigel Casey confirmed the rumors during an announcement at a press conference in London today. He said the trip would be a "short one" and that it would begin "this autumn."
Casey also joked about that well-known "Markle Sparkle" effect, saying it was "great news for us" and "good news for the South African economy."
"I predict a hat and frock buying frenzy...which could restore economic growth all on its own," Casey said.
While ITV said the royal parents are still deciding whether to bring baby Archie along due to the security risks of an extended overseas trip, The Daily Mail reports that the littlest royal will accompany his parents on the South Africa portion of the royal tour, making him one of the youngest royals to ever embark on an official royal tour.
According to royal correspondent Ricard Eden via the Mail, "officials in South Africa have been told to expect a visit by Prince Harry, Meghan and baby Archie later this year," and that "early preparations have begun" for the Sussexes' visit.
Shortly after the rumors started swirling, officials at Buckingham broke their silence and issued a statement on the matter, in which they all but confirmed a plan like this was or is in the works.
“Any future plans for The Duke and Duchess are speculative at this stage,” the statement from BP read, according to royal reporter Richard Palmer. “No decisions have been taken about future roles. The Duke will continue to fulfill his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.”
If Buckingham isn’t flat out denying the reports, you can bet your bottom dollar (er, pound) it’s been discussed as an actual possibility.
So, trip to South Africa this fall then? See you there.