Meghan Markle is taking a hands-on approach when it comes to her family's big trip to Africa.
A source close to 37-year-old Meghan and her husband, 34-year-old Prince Harry, tells ET that she has been fully engaged in every step of planning the couple's upcoming tour of Africa while she remains on maternity leave after giving birth to their son, Archie, in May. Last month, Meghan and Harry announced that they are heading to South Africa in the fall and plan to bring Archie along for the tour. In addition to their stops as a family, Harry will visit Angola, Malawi and Botswana while in the region.
Our source notes that Meghan's philanthropic work is immensely important to her and that both "the duke and duchess want to make a real impact" during their trip.
Africa is "close to Harry's heart," so that has been the focus of the plans at this stage, the source adds.
Meanwhile, a second source points out that there is "precedence, of course, in the family" for the upcoming trip. The queen (then Princess Elizabeth) and Prince Philip's tenure in Malta in the early years of their marriage was a wonderful time which they still fondly remember, the source explains, and Harry and Meghan are equally excited about the opportunity. According to the source, the couple wouldn't spend years at a time there but several months in order to set down some roots and make an impact in the local community.
"[The posting in Africa] appeals to them because they’re both quite adventurous and like the idea of spending some time abroad as a family," the source says.
Clearly, Africa is a special place for both Harry and Meghan. Harry made his first visit to the continent with his father, Prince Charles, shortly after his mother Princess Diana’s death in 1997 and started the Lesotho-based charity Sentebale to honor his late mother. Harry also said Botswana is where he and Meghan spent the crucial early first days of their relationship during the couple's first-ever interview together after announcing their engagement.
In April, rumors swirled that Meghan and Harry were relocating to Africa after the birth of Archie, and Buckingham Palace noted at the time in a statement that "any future plans" for Meghan and Harry are "speculative at this stage," and "no decision has been taken about future roles." A source also told ET that any potential move has "absolutely nothing to do" with any perceived rift between Harry and his older brother, 37-year-old Prince William.
"While details would naturally be formalized over time, with Harry and Meghan's role as President and Vice President, respectively, of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, any relocation for an extended period of time would be an opportunity for them to work in their already established humanitarian roles," the source explained at the time. "The idea is it's really a step beyond the traditional royal visit; an opportunity to have some roots and time in a place, so that [they] can focus more in depth and interact in the community as [U.K.] Ambassadors."
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