Friday 18 October 2019

Meghan and Harry touch down in Morocco for brief tour as they're banned from walkabouts amid security concerns

Britain's Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, arrives at the Casablanca Airport in Casablanca, Morocco, February 23, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool
Britain's Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, arrives at the Casablanca Airport in Casablanca, Morocco, February 23, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive at the Casablanca Airport in Casablanca, Morocco, February 23, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are banned from walkabouts and unscheduled meet and greets during their three-day tour of Morocco due to security concerns.

Britain's Duke and Duchess of Sussex are flying to Casablanca today for a whirlwind royal tour, but extra security has reportedly been requested as their visit occurs just days after some civil unrest in the capital of Rabat in which protests turned violent. Like all trips, theirs is heavily guarded and scheduled and their engagements in the country will be taking place largely indoors at homes behind walled gardens.

It was announced earlier this evening that the couple would be at least an hour late for the start of their Morocco tour after their plane's take-off was delayed, Kensington Palace said.

Meghan was pictured wearing a red Valentino cape dress as they touched down on Moroccan soil tonight. It is believed that she chose the colour red because of the historic significance it has in Morocco, representing bravery, strength and the national flag.

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive at the Casablanca Airport in Casablanca, Morocco, February 23, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive at the Casablanca Airport in Casablanca, Morocco, February 23, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool

The couple are making their third official overseas trip together, following visits to Dublin and a tour of Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific last year. It comes two days after Meghan returned home from a five-day trip to New York for a baby shower with her closest celebrity friends in a trip said to have totalled more than €300,000, which was reportedly paid for by Serena Williams and Amal Clooney.

Meghan's trip follows her luxury New York baby shower that saw a string of A-list celebrities celebrate the impending birth of her first child due at the end of April.

Thomas Reilly, Britain's ambassador to Morocco, will welcome the couple at Casablanca airport on Saturday with his wife, and the duke will inspect a waiting guard of honour. Despite being heavily pregnant, the duchess has a busy Moroccan schedule with the duke which will see them spend Sunday in Morocco's famous Atlas mountains celebrating the achievements of British entrepreneur Michael McHugo, founder of an education organisation focusing on young women.

They will visit his Education For All boarding houses for girls aged 12 to 18, that ensures the youngsters from rural communities in the region have access to secondary education, and Harry will invest Mr McHugo with an MBE for his efforts.

In the years following Britain's 2016 referendum decision to leave the EU, the royal family made a string of visits to Europe, helping to renew and strengthen the UK's ties with the continent as the Brexit process progressed. The British monarchy uses what has been termed "soft diplomacy" to promote the UK brand whenever they travel abroad.

It now appears part of the focus of overseas royal tours may be on Africa, which the Prime Minister has already described as having incredible potential".

Additional reporting by Press Association

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are welcomed by officials at the Casablanca Airport in Casablanca, Morocco, February 23, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are welcomed by officials at the Casablanca Airport in Casablanca, Morocco, February 23, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool

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