Meghan Markle made a private, unscheduled trip to honour murdered South African student Uyinene Mrwetyana, leaving a moving message at the site where she was killed.
The Duchess of Sussex, 38, is mid-way through a 10-day tour of South Africa, together with husband Prince Harry, 35, and son Archie, who is four-months-old.
Duchess Meghan made a private visit of her own earlier this week, although it is not known on exactly which day the visit happened. The trip was confirmed earlier today by a post on the @SussexRoyal Instagram account.
According to Buckingham Palace, the visit to the post office site was a “personal gesture” after having “closely following the tragic story” of Mrwetyana, a 19-year-old University of Cape Town student, who was raped and murdered last month. A 42-year-old male post office employee has been arrested in connection with the murder.
Buckingham Palace said: "We can confirm that earlier this week The Duchess made a private visit to the memorial of Uyinene Mrwetyana. Having closely followed the tragic story, it was a personal gesture she wanted to make."
The @SussexRoyal Instagram post shows Meghan – dressed in a white top and jeans – tying a yellow ribbon to the rails at the post office where the murder took place. The post also provides further information about the problem of gender based violence in South Africa, linking out in the account’s bio to a New Yorker article which discusses Mrwetyana and South Africa’s #AmINext movement, which draws attention to the country's growing rates of sexual violence.
The Duchess left a moving message at the site, according to royal correspondent Emily Andrews, written in South African Xhosa, one of the official languages of Xhosa. It read: “Simi kunye kulesisimo, which translates to “We stand together in this situation”, and was signed off from: “Harry and Meghan September 26, 2019".
The message was said to have been written in the Duchess’ distinctive calligraphic style, and written along the length of a yellow ribbon – joined dozens of other coloured ribbons which were left in tribute to the late teenager.
Exclusive: #Meghan made a secret trip to pay tribute to #Uyinene Mrwetyana whose brutal murder has outraged South Africa. The Duchess was so shocked by the torture, rape and murder of the beautiful student she made a top-secret pilgrimage to the post office where she was killed. pic.twitter.com/vCy4uPW7cR— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) September 27, 2019
Yellow ribbons have been left as tributes to #Uyinene Mrwetyana and Meghan left a moving message, written in her distinctive calligraphy, in local language Xhosa: “We stand together in this situation.— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) September 27, 2019
“Harry & Meghan 26th September 2019.” pic.twitter.com/VH7u7rDQEE
Meghan fastens a ribbon to the Post office Claremont as a tribute to #Uyinene Mrwetyana who was raped and bludgeoned to death with post office scales after the 19-year-old went to pick up a parcel. She wrote in Xhosa: “Simi kunye kulesisimo: We stand together in this moment” pic.twitter.com/YPK8SDQtmE— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) September 28, 2019
The Duchess spoke to #Uyinene’s mother this week to relay her condolences. She wanted “to pay her respects and to show solidarity with those who have taken a stand against gender based violence and femicide..Visiting the site of this tragic death was personally important” to her.— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) September 28, 2019
While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s carried out a number of joint engagements earlier this week, their schedules have parted for this stage of the tour.
Prince Harry spent yesterday in Angola, a west-coast country of south-central Africa, following in the footsteps of his late mother Princess Diana through his work with demining charity The Halo Trust, and yesterday attended a reception at the British ambassador’s residence.
This morning he will have an audience with President Lourenço at the Presidential Palace before visiting maternity hospital Lucrécia Palm to see the work of a project led by First Lady Ana Dias Lourenço which focuses on preventing HIV/AIDs transmission from mothers to babies.