Meghan Markle today coaxed parents and children to the floor to play with toys admitting her little boy Archie would be ‘crabby’ if she stopped him.
The Duchess of Sussex‘s laid-back move initially shocked the group at Mothers2Mothers – a Cape Town charity that trains and employs mothers with HIV.
Meghan, who went on two solo trips without Harry and their son this afternoon, had suddenly jumped down from her chair and declared: ‘I can’t be the only one sitting down here’ as the circle of women sat and watched.
The 38-year-old former actress then said: ‘I just think if Archie were here with all those toys on the floor and I made him sit in the chair, it would be so unfair!’.
After an uncomfortable few seconds she then grinned as around five mothers and their young children joined her to play with the toys.
Meghan also brought clothes, books and other items given to Archie as gifts after his birth, including a babygrow that is now too small for the five-month-old.
They included two tiny white vests, one bearing the words The Future and another with the Invictus Games logo.
Meghan got down on the floor to play with children whose parents initially appeared frozen before they joined her on the mat
Meghan declared Archie would get ‘crabby’ if he was forced to sit in a chair when toys were on offer
The Duchess then made the group laugh by saying ‘I can’t be the only one sitting down here’ and they joined her
MailOnline footage showed Meghan’s relief as the group finally joined her to play
Meghan Markle coaxed parents and children to the floor to play with toys Archie would love, admitting he’d be ‘crabby’ if he was kept in a chair
The Duchess of Sussex left baby Archie and her husband Harry behind for a series of solo events at groups empowering women in South Africa – but said he’d have loved to play with the children
The Duchess of Sussex meets health workers and client families during a visit to the mothers2mothers (m2m) charity
The Duchess of Sussex and her husband laughed as Archie stole the show as he grinned at the camera and the Archbishop
Archbishop Desmond Tutu kissed little Archie on the head on the steps of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town
Meghan joked this youngster was ‘living their best life’ while giggling and playing on the floor
The Duchess of Sussex, who has taken her four-month-old son to South Africa, spoke to other parents at mothers2mothers
She took along some of Archie’s baby clothes, including a onesie saying ‘The Future’ and his Invictus babygro which he no longer fits, alongside donations from her friends with children
Meghan brought a large black holdall full of baby clothing outgrown by her son Archie and the children of friends, to hand over to clients of mothers2mothers in Cape Town (pictured with the mothers)
Pointing to a 15-month-old girl called Asivile, who was rolling around on the floor in front of the group, the Duchess laughed: ‘Look at who’s having the best time, living her best life!’
Since its launch in 2001, m2m has created more than 10,000 jobs and reached more than 11 million women and children under the age of two (Meghan is pictured with mothers at the charity)
Meghan also seemed smitten by six-week old Sumeya, who was asleep on her mother, Nothabo Qaga, 31
Mother Mentors are able to bring financial security for their families and become role models as healthy, HIV positive women, helping to reduce stigma and discrimination around the virus (Meghan is pictured speaking to children at the charity)
Since its launch in 2001, m2m has created more than 10,000 jobs and reached more than 11 million women and children under the age of two (Meghan is pictured speaking to mothers and children at the charity)
Meghan Markle (left and right mothers2mothers charity) arriving at today coaxed parents and children to the floor to play with toys admitting her little boy Archie would be ‘crabby’ if she stopped him
The Duchess of Sussex’s visit to mothers2mothers comes on the third day of her and Prince Harry’s visit to Africa, which is set to last nearly a fortnight
‘Here’s a few little things that I thought would be helpful,’ she said, holding them up one by one. ‘The Future. And he’s outgrown his Invictus one,’ she laughed.
After accepting a gift of a framed photograph of women helped by the organisation, she told her hosts: ‘I just thought that, in the spirit of community, what’s so nice is to be able to share some of the things that we have at home as well.
‘And so we can obviously make sure everything you need is provided for you, but we’ve brought some of the things that my friends and I used for our kids and Archie, that don’t fit anymore.’
Gesturing to the bag, she added: ‘There’s all sorts of things there. It’s so important to be able to share with other families…you’re all in this together and with each other and so we just wanted to share something from our home to each of yours.’
Then, pointing to a 15-month-old girl called Asivile, who was rolling around on the floor in front of the group, the Duchess laughed: ‘Look at who’s having the best time, living her best life!’
Meghan also seemed smitten by six-week old Sumeya, who was asleep on her mother, Nothabo Qaga, 31.
Told she had watched the royal wedding on TV, the Duchess replied: ‘Oh thank you, that’s so sweet.
And she giggled when Nothabo suggested that little Sumeya might one day marry Archie.
‘I was so excited, I can’t believe it even now, said the mother-of-two from Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township.
‘It’s like a dream to see her, especially because I watched her wedding on TV. I told her that maybe Archie and Sumeya are a match made in heaven. I was disappointed that she didn’t bring him too.’
Meghan was visiting mothers2mothers’ international headquarters in Cape Town to hear how the charity is training and employing women living with HIV as health workers in their communities across eight African nations.
Meghan kissed eight-year-old Amara Nenguke’s hand as she visited the African not-for-profit organisation ‘mothers2mothers’. The little girl was overwhelmed with emotion
Meghan greeted people with a hug outside the charity in Cape Town
The Duchess of Sussex waves to the Cape Town crowds as she visits Mothers2Mothers in Cape Town, an international nonprofit organisation dedicated to preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV
The Duchess sat alongside 12 other empowering and inspiring women at the event
Meghan changed into a chic black Everlane jumpsuit for the talk with female business leaders today
Meghan chatted to young Amara, who told the Duchess she wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up
The Duchess stopped to chat with Amara, asking her what she wants to be when she grows up
Amara said afterwards: ‘I’ve never met such an amazing person. The Duchess told me I can anything I want to be.’
The Duchess was evidently quite taken with young Amara, who told her her hopes and dreams
The Duchess of Sussex spoke about enjoying the pressures of being a working mother as she met a dozen female entrepreneurs at an event in Cape Town
The Duchess waved to the people who had gathered to meet her at the non-profit organisation, which helps prevent mother-to-baby transmission of HIV
Meghan sat cross-legged on the carpet and played with the girls at the centre during the third day of her and Prince Harry’s official visit
Since its launch in 2001, m2m has created more than 10,000 jobs and reached more than 11 million women and children under the age of two
The Duchess was relaxed as she chatted and giggled during the visit today. Meghan brought a large black holdall full of baby clothing outgrown by her son Archie
The duchess quickly suggested they move to the floor, where a selection of playthings were laid out for the youngsters
Mother Mentors are able to bring financial security for their families and become role models as healthy, HIV positive women, helping to reduce stigma and discrimination around the virus
As well as its headquarters in Cape Town, the organisation has affiliated outlets including m2m International in New York and Los Angeles and m2m United Kingdom based in London. Pictured: Meghan playing with a child at the charity
The charity’s celebrity patrons include singer Annie Lennox, who appeared with the duchess at a panel discussion on International Women’s Day, and Hollywood star Salma Hayek, who appeared in the September issue of British Vogue guest-edited by the duchess
The Duchess of Sussex received a gift during her visit – and she reciprocated by handing over a bag of clothes that Archie had outgrown
Meghan spoke to mothers who use the centre as well as volunteers to hear about the important work they are doing
Meghan was completely at ease as she chatted to the mothers and volunteers, and played with the babies on the floor
The peer-support model helps prevent mother-to-baby transmission of the virus through these ‘Mother mentors’, who become role models in their communities, showing how women with HIV can live healthy, productive lives.
Since its launch in 2001, m2m has created more than 10,000 jobs and reached more than 11 million women and children under the age of two.
Meghan was welcomed to the centre by Frank Beadle De Palomo, President and CEO of mothers2mothers and two of its spokeswomen, Limpho Nteko, 29, from Lesotho, and Nobuntu Ma-awu, 32, from Khayelitsha.
Inside, she sat in a circle of chairs with m2m staff and clients who had brought their young children to the session.
But the Duchess quickly suggested they move to the floor, where a selection of playthings were laid out for the youngsters.
Meghan sat cross-legged on the carpet and held out a finger to one baby girl next to her as Limpho shared her story.
Hearing that she had a daughter aged five months, ‘almost the same age as baby Archie’, Meghan gasped, ‘Oh my goodness!’
Limpho said she was 19, pregnant and married to a man seven years older than her when she was diagnosed with HIV.
‘Did you feel scared?’ asked the Duchess. ‘Scared, ashamed and it was just terrifying,’ she replied. ‘One of those moments when you just want to disappear.’
With the support of mothers2mothers, Limpho said she realised she could continue to live a healthy life and she managed to deliver an HIV-free baby. Tragically, she told the royal visitor, her baby died three weeks later.
‘I’m so sorry,’ Meghan replied, looking visibly moved.
As she was gifted a bunch of flowers, the Duchess of Sussex stopped to hug a young fan
The Duchess playfully encouraged the other women to sit on the floor with her
Meghan sat cross-legged on the floor and played with babies and toddlers
The organisation trains and employs women living with HIV as frontline health workers across eight African nations
Meghan encourages the clients at mothers2mothers to sit down on the floor
The hub focuses on skills development, capacity building, mentorship and access to markets by helping entrepreneurs
The Duchess changed into a black jumpsuit as she met 12 inspiring female entrepreneurs when she visits the UK-SA Tech Hub
Meghan looked chic and elegant in her simple black jumpsuit and matching heels
Limpho has since given birth to two healthy children. She became a Mother Mentor herself and is helping to train others.
When she explained how they move around the community with door-to-door visits Meghan replied: ‘That’s so important and I think that so much of the key work that’s being done is you have your own community. Mother mentors, someone who looks like you.
‘It’s a safe place for you to have that conversation with someone you trust. Because we can do whatever we want from the outside looking in, but when you have a role model with a shared experience it creates a much faster connection and it’s great that you’re able to do that.’
Mother Mentors are able to bring financial security for their families and become role models as healthy, HIV positive women, helping to reduce stigma and discrimination around the virus.
They work in communities and at understaffed health facilities to ensure that women and their families get the health advice, treatment and medication they need.
As a result, m2m has achieved virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV for enrolled clients for the past five years in a row.
As well as its headquarters in Cape Town, the organisation has affiliated outlets including m2m International in New York and Los Angeles and m2m United Kingdom based in London.
The charity’s celebrity patrons include the singer Annie Lennox, who appeared with the Duchess in panel discussion on International Women’s Day and Hollywood star Salma Hayek, who appeared in the September issue of Vogue guest-edited by the Duchess.
South African supermodel Candice Swanepoel, actress Samantha Bond and TV and radio host Rochelle Humes are also patrons.
After a busy morning meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu on his first royal engagement Archie stayed behind with his father.
Meghan first went to meet inspiring female entrepreneurs in Cape Town where she said: ‘We’re only five months in right now. Being a working mum and travelling as well with a baby, my goodness it’s a lot, but it’s all so exciting.
‘There are days when it’s a lot to juggle but then you meet someone, have an impact on them and it’s so rewarding.’
After posing with the group she crossed the city to visit the Mothers2Mothers organisation.
The Duchess of Sussex was embraced outside the NGO Mothers 2 Mothers
The Duchess of Sussex also spoke about being a working mother during the meeting with women entrepreneurs
Meghan arrived at the headquarters of Mothers2Mothers, an association training and employing mothers with HIV
The inspiring entrepreneurs posed for pictures with the Duchess as they thanked her for visiting them
Meghan was driven to mothers2mothers after taking part in the conversation and the Woodstock Exchange
Meghan met with Shirley Gilbey, the director of the UK-SA Tech Hub, before participating in a talk
She teamed her jumpsuit with statement GAS Bijoux gold earrings, and black Manolo Blahnik pumps
The Duchess animatedly chatted to women at the event in Cape Town this afternoon
The Duchess of Sussex laughs with 12 inspiring female entrepreneurs as she visits Woodstock Exchange
The 38-year-old met female entrepreneurs working in technology
The UK-SA Tech Hub is a virtual hub working to develop the maturity of the South African tech ecosystem in order to enable strong digital economic growth over time
The 38-year-old wore the same jumpsuit while working behind-the-scenes on the September issue of British Vogue in July
Meghan looked relaxed in the £100 piece from US-based Everlane – a brand she has worn on a number of previous occasions
Fashion fans hoping to emulate the Duchess’ style are in luck – the laid back jumpsuit is still available to buy online
Meghan posed for pictures after the ‘Ladies who Launch’ event at the Woodstock Exchange
The veteran Nobel Peace Prize winner, who was effectively the leader of the liberation struggle during Nelson Mandela’s long imprisonment, said he was ‘thrilled by the ‘rare privilege and honour’ to meet the royals
In a heartwarming and tender moment, the Archbishop gave Archie a kiss on the head as his mother beamed
Earlier the Duchess and Prince Harry took Archie on his first public engagement to meet Archbishop and anti-apartheid campaigner Desmond Tutu.
Meghan then changed into a chic black Everlane jumpsuit, teamed with statement GAS Bijoux gold earrings, and black Manolo Blahnik pumps for the solo events.
The 38-year-old wore the same £100 jumpsuit while working behind-the-scenes on the September issue of British Vogue in July.
At the business event Meghan met Shirley Gilbey, the director of the UK-SA Tech Hub, a group which supports South Africans, particularly women, involved in the tech industry with skills development resources and support.
In March 2019, The Duchess of Sussex joined a panel discussion convened by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to mark International Women’s Day, featuring female business and charity leaders when the panellists discussed the obstacles that still affect female empowerment across the world today, and the positive opportunities that come when women are given wider access.
Harry and Meghan are on a 10-day visit to Africa with their four-month-old son Archie and later the duke will leave his family to travel to Botswana.
He will also visit Angola and Malawi over the coming days before he is reunited next week with his wife and child in Johannesburg.
Meghan arrived in South Africa laden with children’s clothes, books and other items for the charity – presents donated to their son Archie.
The four-month-old royal delighted fans as he made his first appearance of Harry and Meghan’s Africa tour
Cheeky little Archie melted hearts as he giggled throughout the meeting this morning, in his striped dungarees and socks
Archie looked adorable for his surprise public appearance as he stole the limelight from his parents
The excitable four-month-old reached out to grab the Archbishop, much to the amusement of his mother
Meghan holds little Archie – who giggles at his mother – as they are greeted by Archbishop Tutu and his daughter, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe
Four-month-old Archie giggled at his mother as she held on to him during the meeting with the Archbishop in South Africa
Baby Archie was happy and at ease as his parents took him along on the third day of their trip
The couple appeared animated on the steps of the foundation in Cape Town, no doubt because of little Archie’s antics
Meghan joked with the Archbishop’s daughter Thandeka Tutu Gxashe, that the young royal would have have to get used the the cameras
They were given a set of signed children’s books for Archie, Desmond and the Mean Word, and Children’s Bible Stories, written by the Archbishop
Meghan, 38, cuddled her little boy while doting Harry, 35, sat beside them during the reception in Cape Town
The anti-apartheid campaigner said he was ‘thrilled by the ‘rare privilege and honour’ to meet the royals
Meghan joked with the Archbishop’s daughter Thandeka Tutu Gxashe that the little royal would have have to get used the the cameras in his life, while Ms Tutu Gxashe joked little Archie was ‘going to be a ladies’ man’
Meghan was told about the Ladies Who Launch conversation series the hub offers, which brings together a cross-section of female entrepreneurs and investors.
The Duke and Duchess shared images from the talk on their Instagram account, along with the caption: ‘Verified Ladies who launch! This afternoon in the Woodstock district of Cape Town, The Duchess of Sussex joined inspiring female entrepreneurs who shared their passion for ideas, technology and making a positive social impact.
‘Each of the women shared amazing stories of how they started in business, the journey they’ve been on – successes and struggles – but also their ambitions for the future.
‘Female empowerment and championing women’s rights is a key focus for The Duchess.
‘By taking small actions we can make a big difference. Thank you to the inspiring women The Duchess met today, who are setting this example every day through their dedication and determination.’
The UK-SA Tech Hub is a virtual hub working to develop the maturity of the South African tech ecosystem in order to enable strong digital economic growth over time.
The Tech Hub focuses on skills development, capacity building, mentorship and access to markets by assisting entrepreneurs, particularly women, to acquire skills, resources and support.
Meghan met with 12 inspiring female entrepreneurs, gathered around a table for a discussion on their experiences.
She learned how the ‘Ladies who Launch’ conversation series, that brings together a cross-section of female entrepreneurs, investors and corporate decision makers, is supporting and inspiring them.
The goal is to ignite the opportunity through network building between aspiring – and inspiring – female entrepreneurs and successful role model women.