Archie meets Arch as Harry and Meghan arrive in Cape Town
These may be divided times but images of last week’s visit by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Cape Town, introducing baby Archie to Archbishop Desmond Tutu found the world smiling in unison.
The pictures of the tiny baby and the delighted 87-year-old veteran Nobel Laureate and anti-apartheid campaigner went worldwide. They seemed to symbolise the hope for love, peace and understanding across generations and nations.
Everyone was excited that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan took their baby son along with them when they visited the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation as part of their Africa tour. ‘Archie Meets the Arch’ screamed the headlines.
Their agenda included a meeting with the retired Archbishop and a briefing on the Foundation’s work.
“Thank you for your concern and interest in the welfare of our people. It’s very heartwarming, let me tell you, very heartwarming to realise that you really, genuinely are caring people,” the Archbishop told the young royals.
Prince Harry replied: “We all try to make things better.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Desmond & Leah Legacy Foundation Piyushi Kotecha briefed the royals on the Foundation’s operations.
Kotecha and the Archbishop’s eldest daughter, Thandeka, presented the couple with a basket of gifts celebrating South African women, children and non-racialism – including several gifts for young Archie.
Kotecha also presented Prince Harry with a pair of framed photographs of his mother Princess Diana’s meeting with President Nelson Mandela, in Cape Town in 1997 – one for Prince Harry and the other for his brother, the Duke of Cambridge. The photographs were donated to the foundation by photojournalist, Benny Gool.
The gift basket included:
· A matching pair of beaded bracelets hand-made by members of Ikamva Labantu, which works in Cape Town townships focusing on early childhood development, afterschool initiatives and the wellbeing of elder persons. The bracelets, in the purple and green colours of the Foundation, were specially commissioned for the royal couple.
· A set of signed children’s books for Archie, Desmond and the Mean Word, and Children’s Bible Stories, written by the Archbishop.
· A beautiful children’s songbook containing the extraordinary work of Patricia Schonstein. Schonstein opened a pre-school in Grahamstown in 1984 in defiance of apartheid rules. The teaching was based on principles of peace, non-violence, non-racism and care of the earth. Over the ten years of the Centre's existence, children of all races and of different cultural, religious and economic backgrounds were taught, through story-telling, poetry, art, pottery, music, song and drama to care about each other and to cherish the natural world.
· A copy of the Book of Joy signed by both His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop.
· A set of portable and recyclable lap-desks from the Tutu Desk Campaign.
Note: The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation is the global rallying point for the Archbishop’s values in respect of people and the earth. Its mission is to develop its significant archival holdings, distil the timeless wisdom of its founders, and contribute to instilling their values in new generations of leaders.
*The above photograph includes Archbishop Tutu and his daughter Thandeka with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and baby Archie, during their meeting at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation today. Photograph by Benny Gool