Meghan Markle kicks of Africa royal tour with power speech

Dancing Duchess Meghan says she is visiting Africa as 'a woman of color'

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex kicked off their royal tour on Sept. 23

Meghan Markle's first trip to South Africa is off to a memorable start. The Duchess of Sussex along with Prince Harry officially kicked off their royal tour on Monday, September 23, visiting the Nyanga township, which has been dubbed as the "murder capital" of South Africa, in Cape Town. The American-born royal delivered a powerful speech, touching on her mixed racial heritage, during the engagement.

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Speaking to women and girls of South Africa, who are facing gender-based violence, Meghan said, "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 color, and as your sister." She added, "I am here with you, and I am here for you."

The royal feminist highlighted her work as a women's rights advocate. Meghan said, "The rights of women and girls is something that is very close to my heart, and the cause I have spent the majority of my life advocating for because I know that when women are empowered, the entire community flourishes."

Meghan Markle kicks of Africa royal tour with power speech©Getty Images
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Meghan and Harry danced with locals on the first day of their royal tour of Africa

Harry also delivered remarks saying, “No man is born to cause harm to women this is learned behavior and a cycle that needs to be broken." The Duke noted that progress would be made through "redefining masculinity.” He explained, “It’s about creating your own footprints for your children to follow in, so that you can make a positive change for the future.” The Duke continued, "Your strength is in your spirit, which for me means honoring and protecting my wife, and being a positive role model for my son [Archie Harrison]."

The Duchess wore a dress by sustainable Malawi brand Mayamiko for the first engagement of her royal tour, as well as a "justice" bracelet. Meghan completed her look by sweeping her dark tresses up into a sleek ponytail. While at the Nyanga township, the royal couple showed off their dance moves, dancing with locals. Harry and his wife were on hand to learn more about the work of The Justice Desk, which brings together two of the couple’s long-standing interests: youth leadership and women’s rights. The Duke and Duchess were presented by The Justice Desk with a South African Xhosa name for Archie, "Ntsika," which means pillar of strength. The royal tour is Meghan and Harry’s first tour as a family with four-month-old son Archie. The Sussexes’ visit to Africa will wrap on October 2 in Johannesburg.