Meghan Markle’s royal tour secrets exposed

Tomorrow, Meghan, Harry and baby Archie will arrive in Africa for their big tour. What won’t be pictured? The insanity going on behind the scenes.

Passports, tickets, money. Passports, tickets, money …

Right now, Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are counting down to their first tour as a family of three with the trio set to head to South Africa on Monday.

Preparing for a royal tour takes far more than just throwing a few T-shirts in a suitcase and checking you have the right electricity adaptor.

Behind the scenes, a veritable army of assistants and advisers are right now beavering away to ensure that this 10-day trip will be a smashing success — with the press, the crowds and two (I’m guessing) tired new parents.

Here are just some of the mind boggling logistics required to get Harry and Meghan smiling and ready to woo a new continent.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will arrive in Africa tomorrow, and with a royal tour comes a village to help pull it off. Picture: Chris Jackson/Invictus Games Foundation/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images


Let’s hope they have budgeted for extra baggage!

The Sussexes are set to travel on a commercial flight (most likely the Windsors’ preferred airline, British Airways), though they will be in first class. (In other instances, such as Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall’s Caribbean visit, members of the royal family charter a government plane to ferry their team and paying press along with them.)

Coming with the family will be an actual mountain of luggage. When Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, travelled to North America for her first overseas tour in 2011, she carried with her 25 suitcases.

Diana, Princess of Wales used to travel with huge, upright metal cases to ensure her evening dresses arrived in pristine condition. These days, members of the royal family rely on more standard garment bags, though monogrammed of course.

While the royals must always look polished for any public appearance, the press will be frothing over Meghan’s outfit choices particularly during the family’s African tour. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Royal packing is a serious business. For one thing, Meghan alone will need dozens of different outfits for the 10 days of functions she is set to attend, which will take her from meeting Desmond Tutu to attending a school self-defence workshop.

Each item of luggage for Harry, Meghan and Archie will bear two tags; one with their name and a coloured one to specify where it needs to go. Hello reports that blue tags indicate the item is set to go onboard, yellow is if it needs to be transferred to a residence (such as an ambassador’s home) and green is for the hotel.


For the Sussexes’ two-day trip to Dublin in 2018 they took 11 people, while their tour of Australia and the South Pacific last year included a team of 10.

Samantha “The Panther” Cohen — their interim private secretary — will be travelling with the family while her replacement, former ambassador Fiona Mcilwham, will come along for the first three days of the tour. (Harry and Meghan are paying for Fiona’s expenses personally so she can get an idea of what a royal tour is like.)

Assistant private secretary Heather Wong, who has been with Harry for quite a while, will be there as will Sara Latham, the couple’s recently appointed new PR guru.

Also on board will be a hairdresser of Meghan’s choosing.

During their 48-hour Irish dash last year, Meghan chose celebrity snipper George Northwood, who also did her ’do for her 2018 wedding. (Her trusted, longtime makeup artist Daniel Martin revealed that the Duchess did her own face during the same overseas trip.)

As seen when Meghan dropped by to watch pal Serena Williams play at the US Open, the Duchess of Sussex goes nowhere without an entourage (including security). Picture: Timothy A. Clary/AFP.Source:AFP

Definitely coming along will be baby Archie’s mystery nanny. While the woman has not been officially named, she was seen boarding a private jet with the family in August after they enjoyed a brief, but highly controversial, jaunt to stay at Elton John’s French mansion.

Then, there is their security team.

While no exact numbers are officially revealed, when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge toured North America in 2012 they had seven bodyguards with them.

Add to that an official Director of Royal Travel and potentially a policy adviser, and you have quite the crew.


Here’s one thing we know for sure — Meghan loves hand sanitiser.

Way back in the glorious days of The Tig, she shared her essentials for flying and number one is hand sanitiser.

Meghan wrote: “I’m no germophobe, but when I get on a plane I always use some quick hand wipes or a travel sanitiser spray to wipe it all down: that includes the little TV, the service tray, and all the buttons around your seat.

“Sure, the person next to you may give you a side eye, but at the end of the flight, you’ll be the one whistling dixie with nary a sniffle.”

Another tip is a bit more unusual. She says she puts a bit of antibiotic ointment on a cotton bud and coats the inside of her nostrils to prevent “germs getting in”.

A scarf and probiotics are also must-haves, according to the same post.

While Mum and Dad are busy wooing the South African public, baby Archie will be attended to by a mystery nanny. Picture: Dominic Lipinski — WPA Pool/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images


This is another Tig-era titbit about how Meghan travels. She says that the secret to surviving jet lag is to “eat on the schedule of wherever you’ve landed” which will “you trick your brain a bit and stay much more on track, and much less cranky”.


Good question. Mostly, the British taxpayers. When members of the royal family travel on behalf of the United Kingdom, their expenses and security costs are covered by the Sovereign Grant.

Daniela Elser is a royal expert and freelance writer with more than 15 years’ experience writing for some of Australia’s biggest publications. Continue the conversation | @DanielaElser

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