Baby Archie's Visit To Africa Was More Eventful Than We Thought

Baby Archie's visit to Africa took place when he was only four-and-a-half months old, when he accompanied his parents, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on their royal tour. Reports say this isn't the little guy's first vacation, though. Yes, the young royal is already quite the jet setter. As Vanity Fair cited, several outlets reported that the family flew to Ibiza, Spain to enjoy a six-day beach vacation in early August 2019. Archie and his parents also flew on Elton John's private jet to visit with the star in Nice, France. As fun as those trips had to be, it probably couldn't hold a candle to Archie's trip to Africa.

Prince Harry was especially excited to take his family to Africa, which he called "a region of the world" that "has been a second home" to him for over 20 years. "On a personal note," Harry wrote in an Instagram post prior to embarking on the trip, "I can't wait to introduce my wife and son to South Africa!" We now know that the duke's son's visit to Africa was even more eventful than we could've ever imagined. Here's everything that went down.

Baby Archie's visit to Africa involved his longest flight yet

By the time the royal tour rolled around, baby Archie had already traveled on a personal jet once, if not twice, in his young life. Traveling to Africa, however, was quite a bit different. For one thing, the family flew commercial. Previously, many had criticized the family's decision to fly via private jets as they create a much bigger carbon footprint than commercial airplanes. And, with both Harry and Meghan being vocal environmentalists, some thought their means of travel to be hypocritical. 

As many moms and dads can attest, though, flying with a baby on a commercial airplane is, uh, an adventure. Thankfully for the new parents, Archie spent most of the time sawing logs. Waseefa Majiet, a friend to two of the people who hosted the duke and duchess on their trip, told Hello! that Meghan called Archie a "good traveller." Mjiet continued, adding, "Harry said he slept on his chest almost 11 hours (during the flight)." Someone who attended a youth reception along with Harry and Meghan further revealed details about the family's flight. "They said it was the longest flight they have taken with Archie," a guest told the publication.

Baby Archie took in the sights during his visit to Africa

Although baby Archie spent most of the time sleeping in his father's arms on the flight to Africa, the Duke of Sussex said his son was still able to take in some of the sights. "He was staring out the window as we flew in ... looking at Table Mountain," Hello! quoted Harry as saying. According to Table Mountain National Park's site, the landmark is South Africa's most-photographed attraction. "Table Mountain has become the single most welcoming icon to not only our people, but travellers from all over the world," the site explains. It's no wonder the mountain caught the little one's eye. 

After safely arriving in Cape Town, South Africa, Harry told well-wishers that the flight had worn out little Archie. "He's not grouchy, just exhausted," the duke stated (via Hello!). Later, Nazli Ebrosss Fakier joined the family for tea. "[Archie's] having a ball of a time, screaming and shouting," Fakier recalled Meghan's words when speaking to the publication.

Baby Archie stole the show with his big smile and old soul

Many were wondering when — or if — baby Archie would make an appearance on parents Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's official tour in Africa, and thankfully, the royals did not disappoint. On the third day of the tour, Archie made his surprise debut — and his adorable personality was on full display. Archie flashed a huge smile while Meghan carried him in front of the cameras. Living your life surrounded by the press is, of course, no easy thing — just ask Harry — but Archie's already learning to take it all in stride. 

"He's an old soul," Meghan said of her son's time in front of the cameras (via BBC News). Even though he wasn't even five months old at the time of the tour, Harry quipped, "I think he is used to it already." After all, the young royal has already looked into the lens on a number of occasions, including his first public appearance and meet-and-greet with the press when he was just two days old.

Baby Archie's first royal engagement

Baby Archie didn't just make an appearance on the royal tour — he also participated in his first royal engagement. While visiting Cape Town, South Africa, Archie met Archbishop Desmond Tutu as well as his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe. And what a meeting it was. "Arch meets Archie!" the couple revealed in an official Instagram post. "The Archbishop, a globally respected figure in anti-apartheid movement, is one of the world's great champions of equality, and has spent his life tirelessly battling injustice," the post continued. "Their Royal Highnesses have joined The Archbishop and Thandeka to learn more about the work of The Tutu and Leah Legacy Foundation, and see first-hand how they are focussing on global awareness of the critical issues affecting the world."

Although Archie cannot exactly comprehend all of those things, he definitely seemed to enjoy the archbishop's company. In another Instagram picture shared by the duke and duchess, the archbishop is pictured giving Archie a smooch on the forehead. And, in a separate video, the archbishop can be seen giving the little one a high-five and, later, both he and his daughter were recorded baby-talking with the adorable little royal. Can't. Handle. The. Cuteness.

Where baby Archie was when he wasn't on camera

When baby Archie's parents are tied up with official engagements on the royal tour, he's (obviously) not left to fend for himself. In June 2019, prior to the start of their tour of Africa, royal expert Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had hired a nanny. Still, the duchess remained a hands-on parent. "Meghan's been up in the night nursing, feeding on demand every few hours," Nicholl said at the time. "Apparently he's a hungry little baby."

The following month, ET reported that Harry and Meghan had since gone through two nannies before eventually settling on a third. Although there's no word as to nanny number three's identity, she is believed to have traveled with Meghan and Harry on their trip to France and again on the royal tour. The public even got a rare glimpse of the woman thought be Archie's caregiver when the family first arrived in South Africa.

Baby Archie rocked an affordable, eco-conscious, and symbolic wardrobe

We can't help but be obsessed with Meghan Markle's style — especially her royal tour wardrobe —  but it wasn't just her clothes that were catching fans' eyes this time around. When the three royals arrived in South Africa, baby Archie was seen wearing a white knit pom-pom or "bobble" hat.

As the Daily Mail reported, this seemed to be a nod to the hat Prince Harry wore on a plane ride with his own mother, Princess Diana, back in 1985. According to the publication, one fan commented on the decision, writing, "Love when they channel past looks!" And, well, same.

Archie was yet again dressed in a symbolic outfit when he was introduced to Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the third day of the royal tour. The young royal donned light blue, striped overalls with a white onesie, which is, as Express pointed out, incredibly similar to an outfit his father, Harry, wore as a baby. The outfit appears to be H&M's Dungarees and Bodysuit. The outfit, which is part of the brand's eco-friendly line Conscious, retails for £14.99 (about $18.50) and is 100 percent organic cotton.

Baby Archie was given a traditional South African name

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gave their son the name Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, but he earned a new name while traveling in South Africa. For their first stop on the tour, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex met with representatives of the human rights organization The Justice Desk in Nyanga township. There, the couple was given a certificate with a traditional South African name for baby Archie: Ntsika. 

"The name Ntsika means pillar of strength and is a traditional South African Xhosa name picked by the local township gogos (grandmothers). Ntsika is the equivalent to Archie, which means bravery and strength, so it just seemed like a perfect fit," The Justice Desk's executive director, Jessica Dewhurst, told Harper's Bazaar. She explained to the publication that it's "quite traditional for foreign visitors to township communities to be given a South African name." The physical gift, she explained, "was a beautiful frame with a hand-drawn meaning written underneath the name — and a little rhino because Harry loves them." Both Harry and Meghan appeared genuinely touched by the gesture. And, when Archie is old enough, we're sure he will be too.

Baby Archie helped locals in South Africa

Baby Archie is already following in his parents' footsteps when it comes to charitable donations. A few weeks before the family embarked on their tour, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry donated funds to the non-profit organization Love the Oceans. The £4,350 (about $5,440) donation was made in Archie's name and marked the royal's first-ever charitable contribution. The organization plans to use the money to construct a swimming pool in Mozambique to teach local children how to swim safely before they take to the ocean.

Archie's donations continued once he arrived to Africa — via his mother. When meeting with members of the charity mothers2mothers in Cape Town, South Africa, the Duchess of Sussex donated two big bags' worth of children's clothing. "I just thought that, in the spirit of community, it's so nice to be able to share some of the things that we have at home," Meghan revealed (via Today). "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." Archie's Invictus onesie was among the items donated.

Baby Archie didn't just stay in Cape Town

Baby Archie made history by becoming the youngest royal to accompany his parents on a royal tour, royal expert Katie Nicholl revealed in an article for Vanity FairAs such, the tour would've been ambitious enough for the almost five-month-old had he remained in Cape Town, South Africa for the duration of the trip. But that's not what happened.

Toward the end of the tour, Prince Harry left to perform engagements in Malawi, Angola, and Botswana while Meghan Markle and son Archie boarded another commercial plane. "The travel plans entail the Duke criss crossing parts of southern Africa where malaria is a risk, but Archie will be protected in South Africa," Nicholl wrote. Because Harry would need to travel on a small charter plane, royal aides told Nicholl that the trip would practically be "impossible to do with a young baby."

So, instead, the little royal and his mother boarded a British Airways flight to Johannesburg, South Africa. Just a few days later, he'd need to fly once more to arrive home. Whew. We're exhausted just thinking about it.