Prince Harry is undertaking a short visit to the African nation of Zambia to promote a cause that’s dear to the heart of wife Meghan Markle — who was originally scheduled to accompany him, but pulled out at the last minute after advisers told her to stay put.
As the Daily Mail reports, the Duchess of Sussex won’t be going to Zambia, and will instead be spending time in London with her mother, Doria Ragland.
While the official line from Kensington Palace is that the trip had always been intended as a solo journey for Harry, “palace insiders” tell the Mail that the Duchess had originally planned to accompany him as he carries on her efforts to promote female empowerment and education for girls.
“As far as those on the ground in Zambia were concerned both Meghan and Harry were going. But Meghan is exhausted and, understandably, expressed serious concerns about travelling to a country with even the smallest Zika threat,” the says the insider; the Zika virus, which is spread via mosquitos, has been associated with birth defects.
“In the end it was agreed Harry would go it alone and Meghan could rest up and spend some quality time with Doria, who is down in the U.K. visiting,” adds the source
As People points out, Harry will be meeting with Angeline Murimirwa, executive director of CAMFED, an organization that addresses “poverty and inequality in sub-Saharan Africa through the education of girls and the empowerment of young women.”
“For him to step in and say, ‘These are not just women’s issues, they are about human beings’ issues, they are about dignity’ — him putting his voice in this means a lot,” Murimirwa tells People, adding that that she admires the Duke and Duchess for using their public profile to “bring attention to this issue.”