As South Africans eagerly wait for the arrival of Harry, Meghan and baby Archie next week we thought we’d get our royal fix in the meantime by taking a look back at some of the many royal visits to Africa.

1947 Princess Elizabeth’s 21st birthday
In 1947 the Royal Family (King George VI, his wife Queen Elizabeth and his two daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret) took a three month journey across Southern Africa. During the tour Princess Elizabeth (now queen) celebrated her 21st birthday in Cape Town on the 21st of April, marked with a radio broadcast that heard her dedicate her life to the commonwealth. The trip also marked her first ever official overseas trip.

1952 Princess Elizabeth hears of the King’s death
Five days into a trip to Kenya with her husband Prince Philip, the queen’s father George VI passed away. Elizabeth heard about his death just hours after having the time of her life taking pictures of elephants visiting the watering hole near her treetop hotel (as anyone who watches The Crown remembers). She cut her trip short and returned to London where she took over royal responsibilities at age 25.

Interestingly, the princess hadn’t travelled with any black clothes so she had to wait on the plane in London for a mourning outfit to be brought to her before being photographed. As a result the royals now always travel with a just-in-case black option.

Over a year later on June 2 1953, Elizabeth was officially crowned and recognised as the Queen of England.

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Today marks the 65th Anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. On 2nd June 1953, Her Majesty became the 39th Sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, where every Coronation since 1066 has taken place. #DYK that The Queen was crowned in St Edward’s Chair? It was made in 1300 for Edward I and has been used at every Coronation since. Follow the link in our bio to read our ’50 facts about The Queen’s Coronation’. @royal_collection_trust

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on Jun 2, 2018 at 2:03am PDT

 Pin this article for later! For more, follow Good Housekeeping on Pinterest. 1954 Commonwealth tour
In celebration of her new reign the queen spent an incredible seven months travelling around the world with Prince Philip and the young Prince Charles and Princess Anne. Between November 1953 and May 1954 the Royal Family visited 13 countries in the West Indies, Australasia, Asia, and of course- Africa.

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Today marks the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth. In London, 70 years ago during the reign of George VI, Heads of Government from Australia, Britain, Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka), India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and Canada’s Secretary of State for External Affairs came together to discuss the future of ‘the Commonwealth.’ Together on 26 April, they signed ‘The London Declaration’ – the beginning of a network of member countries sharing a set of principles and values. The Queen was 26 years old when she became Head of the Commonwealth and has made more than 200 visits to Commonwealth countries. Her Majesty is also Sovereign of 15 Commonwealth realms in addition to the UK. Swipe to see a few images of The Queen’s earliest visits around the Commonwealth: Her Majesty meets Samoan Scouts in Timaru, New Zealand (1954) The Duke of Edinburgh arrive in Jamaica (1953), visiting Fiji (1953), and receiving flowers in Tonga (1953), in Toronto, Canada (1959), inspecting a Naval Guard of Honour in Tasmania (1954) and receiving flowers from Beata Kabasaindi in Uganda (1954).

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on Apr 26, 2019 at 2:45am PDT

 1997 Princess Diana meets Nelson Mandela
The princess met the then president during a visit to South Africa in March, just five months before her death in a car crash in Paris. Their meeting clearly had an impact on the statesman, and in 2002 Mandela announced that the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund would join the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund to help South Africans with HIV/AIDS and their families. He also visited her family home and placed a wreath on her grave.

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17 March, 1997: Princess Diana meets president Nelson Mandela during her private visit to South Africa. The princess said she was absolutely “thrilled” to meet the president. Diana was in Cape Town to visit her brother, Earl Spencer but also offered her help to AIDS charities. She spoke with president Mandela about the disease. As the pair posed happily for photographs on the stairs of president Mandela’s holiday home, Diana looked delighted to have met one of the world’s most admired and respected political figures. The president was equally effusive. “It’s not often that I meet Princesses, I’m still trembling” he said. #princessdiana #princessofwales #dianaspencer #ladydiana #nelsonmandela #kensingtonpalace #royal #royals #royalty #peoplesprincess #queenofhearts #dianaofwales #princessdi #ladydi

A post shared by Lady Diana, Princess of Wales (@lady.diana._) on Mar 17, 2019 at 12:54pm PDT

 2010 The 2010 Soccer World Cup
Brothers Prince William and Prince Harry visited Africa for their first ever joint official tour overseas. The princes watched England play Algeria in a World Cup match at the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town, and went on to Botswana and Lesotho to touch base with their respective charitable causes.
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal engagement
Later that year Prince William (finally) proposed to his longtime love Kate Middleton at a private log cabin, overlooking the foothills of Mount Kenya. William chose Kenya for the special occasion because of his and Kate’s love of it, and he made sure to include his mother by proposing with Diana’s stunning sapphire engagement ring.

2016 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s romantic trip to Botswana
Early in their relationship Harry whisked Meghan to Botswana for an intimate getaway. Harry later told the BBC: ‘We camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic.’ They enjoyed their stay so much they returned in 2017 to celebrate Meghan’s 36th birthday. In a tribute to the country, Meghan’s engagement ring features a beautiful diamond from Botswana, flanked by two others from Diana’s collection.

2019 Harry and a pregnant Meghan visit Morocco
She may have been six months pregnant at the time, but Meghan stole the show on her and Harry’s three day trip to the North African nation. Royal fans got to see plenty of stylish looks on the Duchess as well as many sweets moments between the couple.

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Their Royal Highnesses see more of the vibrant Moroccan culture – joining a cooking demonstration with Chef Moha and children, who were cooking traditional dishes. Many of the children are from underprivileged backgrounds, and are part of a scheme to help open up the restaurant industry to young people. Children were also making Cherine Mallah’s Moroccan Pancakes from ‘Together: Our Community Cookbook’ – the charity cookbook, supported by The Duchess, which celebrates the power of cooking to bring communities together. #RoyalVisitMorocco #CookTogether. image 2 PA / image 1 +3 @kensingtonroyal

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on Feb 25, 2019 at 5:49am PST

 Next on the couple’s agenda is a visit to South Africa!
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TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are excited to announce that they have been asked to carry out a tour to Southern Africa this autumn. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have requested a visit to South Africa as well as The Duke carrying out visits to Malawi and Angola . His Royal Highness will also do a short working visit to Botswana en route to the other countries. The Duke and Duchess are really looking forward to meeting so many of you on the ground and continuing to raise awareness of the high impact work local communities are doing across the Commonwealth and beyond. This will be their first official tour as a family!

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on Jun 27, 2019 at 8:14am PDT

 Images: Getty
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