The Duchess of Sussex has made her mark on her first official royal tour, delivering a powerful speech in Nyanga that the crowd went wild for.

Speaking just outside Cape Town on Monday, the 38-year-old Duchess told the audience they were "vital" and "extraordinary".

"And just on one personal note, may I just say that while I am here with my husband as a member of the royal family, I want you to know that for me I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister.

The Duchess of Sussex, hugs a child on her arrival at the Nyanga Methodist Church, which houses a project where children are taught about their rights, self-awareness and safety. Photo / AP
The Duchess of Sussex, hugs a child on her arrival at the Nyanga Methodist Church, which houses a project where children are taught about their rights, self-awareness and safety. Photo / AP

"I am here with you and I am here for you and I thank you so much for showing my husband and I the spirit of Ubuntu and I look forward to our time over the next few days together," she said.

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The speech drew huge cheers from the crowd at the Justice Desk centre that focuses on teaching self-defence and empowerment to women and girls in one of South Africa's most impoverished areas.

The Duchess also quoted Maya Angelou, saying: "Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it, possibly without claiming it, she stands up for all women."

Britain's royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, move with dancers on their arrival at the Nyanga Methodist Church in Cape Town. Photo / AP
Britain's royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, move with dancers on their arrival at the Nyanga Methodist Church in Cape Town. Photo / AP

The Justice Desk was the first stop on the 10 day tour which is the Sussexes' first as a family. Earlier, they were pictured arriving in Cape Town on a delayed flight from London's Heathrow.

Four-month old baby Archie was wearing a white bobble hat, similar to one Prince Harry has been pictured in as a baby.

Archie did not appear at the first official engagement, and is not scheduled for any official visits on the trip. However, Meghan, is expected to donate gifts and clothes originally intended for him to a mother's charity on Wednesday.

Archie recently made his first philanthropic gesture with his parents making a donation in his name to help children learn to swim in Mozambique, after Meghan reportedly spotted the fundraiser on Instagram.

Harry and Meghan made a donation in August to a initiative in Mozambique aimed at teaching children to swim.
Harry and Meghan made a donation in August to a initiative in Mozambique aimed at teaching children to swim.

A simple donation of £4350 ($8600) from "Archie HMW" was made, later confirmed to be from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

At the Nyana township the couple danced and greeted children and community leaders. At one state Meghan was caught on camera laughing at Prince Harry as he unwittingly stood in the middle of a room while the others cleared space for a group photograph.

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Archie was given a special Xhosa name of Ntsika, meaning pillar of strength, according to royal reporter Emily Andrews.

"The local grandmothers gave Archie the name: Harry & Meghan loved the name. In SA we say they are welcomed home," she said.


Meghan wore a $120 dress by the label Mayamiko, an ethical and sustainable woman's wear and lifestyle brand, producing clothes made in Malawi. She wore $80 espadrilles and had her hair pulled back in a simple ponytail, while Prince Harry wore a white shirt and dark trousers.

The Duchess of Sussex is all smiles as she visits a Justice Desk initiative in Nyanga township, but there was a noticeable absence in her attire. Photo / Getty
The Duchess of Sussex is all smiles as she visits a Justice Desk initiative in Nyanga township, but there was a noticeable absence in her attire. Photo / Getty
It appears the Duchess of Sussex chose to leave her three-diamond engagement ring at home of a visit to the township. Photo / Getty
It appears the Duchess of Sussex chose to leave her three-diamond engagement ring at home of a visit to the township. Photo / Getty

Eagle-eyed fans noticed that the Duchess had ditched her famous engagement ring for the visit, wearing a simple jade stone instead.

Prince Harry told the crowd his aim was "redefining masculinity."

"To me, the real testament of your strength isn't physical, it's what's up here and what's in here," he said tapping his head and heart. "Your strength is in your spirit, which for me means honouring and protecting my wife, and being a positive role model for my son."

Ahead of their visit the local army and police blocked off the tiny street that leads to the church and the venue had remained top secret until the last minute.

The British royal couple greet children on their arrival at the Nyanga Methodist Church in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo / AP
The British royal couple greet children on their arrival at the Nyanga Methodist Church in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo / AP

Speaking ahead of the tour on Sunday, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said the couple were "very much looking forward to their arrival in Africa tomorrow on their first official tour as a family."

"As you well know Africa holds a very special place in the Duke's heart and he is looking forward to sharing South Africa with the duchess and their son."

"It is a really busy programme, four countries in ten days, and we have an extra special small passenger to make things more lively."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex travelled straight from the airport to their accommodation to settle down Archie, who was not present at the first official engagement.

Britain's Meghan Duchess of Sussex joins children at the Nyanga Methodist Church in Cape Town yesterday. Photo / AP
Britain's Meghan Duchess of Sussex joins children at the Nyanga Methodist Church in Cape Town yesterday. Photo / AP

They also toured the District Six Museum to learn about its work to reunite families forced apart by apartheid, followed by a community cooking activity with former residents of District Six.

District Six is a former inner-city residential area that had different races living side-by-side until the Apartheid government declared it a whites-only area in 1966 and 60,000 residents were forcibly relocated.

However the visit has already proved controversial as it snubs the District Six Working Committee, which represents more than 3000 families who have fought to return to the homes they were removed from by the apartheid system.

Chairperson Shahied Ajam called on Prince Harry to apologise for "the monster that his forbears created" and said he was "perplexed that the committee hasn't been invited," according to IOL South Africa reports.

The couple are given a guided tour of the District Six Museum in Cape Town. Photo / AP
The couple are given a guided tour of the District Six Museum in Cape Town. Photo / AP

"Prince Harry is a representative of a former colonial power that was the architect of what transpired in District Six. Forced removals and the other apartheid evils had their roots in colonialism. The English don't have a good history in South Africa. They enforced and implemented segregation," he said.

"So why weren't we, as a major stakeholder, told about the visit or invited to participate? For me, that is an indication from the royal house that they are not interested in the plight of the people of District Six," he said.

The 10-day tour is the first official family trip for the Sussexes and will focus on wildlife protection, entrepreneurship, mental health and mine clearance — including a stop to a site where Princess Diana famously walked through an active landmine field.

On Wednesday, Prince Harry will leave Meghan and Archie for visits to Botswana, Angola and Malawi.

Meghan's speech in full

Hello! It is such privilege to meet all of you today and to start our visit, my first time in South Africa, here in Nyanga.

We have just spent some time seeing all the incredible work that the Justice Desk does and of course all of you amazing women and the men who are here helping you, Mbokodo, you are incredible and what you're doing is so powerful, because you're all powerful.

The work that's being done here is to keep women and children safer, which is needed now more than ever. This is an issue that's been at the forefront of people's minds here in South Africa, and of course across the globe, particularly over this past month.

For the visit to the District 6 Museum and Homecoming Centre, Meghan changed into a blue dress first seen on the visit to Tonga. Photo / Getty
For the visit to the District 6 Museum and Homecoming Centre, Meghan changed into a blue dress first seen on the visit to Tonga. Photo / Getty

Please know that my husband and I have been closely following what you've been experiencing here – as best we can from afar. But now that we are with you, we are eager to learn and see first-hand the work that you're doing, the vital work that you're doing, and that everything that is being done on the ground is making the great change that you not only need but that you deserve.

You have welcomed us into this community, have been open and honest with us, both about the dangers women and children face, and about how you are addressing them. The rights of women and girls is something that is very close to my heart, and the cause I have spent the majority of my life advocating for because I know that when women are empowered, the entire community flourishes.

So to be able to meet all of you today who are standing up for what's right in the face of adversity, I applaud you. We are encouraged to hear your President take the next steps to work towards preventing gender-based violence through education and necessary changes to reinforce the values of modern South Africa.

I do have to say I feel incredibly humbled to be in the presence of all of you as you stand firm in your core values of respect, dignity and equality.

I read a quote a few weeks ago and it resonated with me as I've been watching what's been happening here and your active efforts. Maya Angelou, the legendary poet and civil rights activist, once said: 'Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it, possibly without claiming it, she stands up for all women.'

Now I know it's not easy and I know it must feel insurmountable at times, but your commitment to what is right gives all of us hope, especially your brothers and sisters here in your community who need you to continue to shine your light brightly. Your commitment is inspiring, it is energising and it is extraordinary. You must keep going, you must know that what you're doing not only matters, it is vital because YOU are vital.

And just on one personal note, may I just say that while I am here with my husband as a member of The Royal Family, I want you to know that for me I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister. I am here with you and I am here FOR you and I thank you so much for showing my husband and I the spirit of Ubuntu and I look forward to our time over the next few days together. Thank you so much for having us.'