Harry and Meghan have begun their first official visit to north Africa after touching down in Morocco last night.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s whirlwind tour is said to be aimed at promoting gender equality in the country.
Pregnant Meghan was glowing in a bright red Valentino gown as she met officials and representatives alongside her husband after they landed on a commercial flight in Casablanca.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are welcomed by officials on their arrival at Casablanca airport (Picture: PA)They were welcomed to the country by Britain’s ambassador to Morocco, Thomas Reilly but arrived two hours late for their welcoming ceremony due to the knock-on effect of an earlier delay to their scheduled flight.
The aim of the trip, on behalf of the British government, is to strengthen Britain’s links with one of the few stable countries in the region, and a nation which will be an important post-Brexit market for the UK.
Mr Reilly said Morocco’s promotion of women and girls, its inclusivity, and social entrepreneurship are ‘close to their royal highnesses’ hearts’.
In darkness, Harry inspected a sabre-carrying guard of honour from the Auxiliary Forces, dressed in their pristine white uniforms and formed in two rows.
The heavily pregnant duchess walked behind her husband as he looked over the troops, who had been patiently waiting for their arrival for more than an hour.
After a busy few days in New York recently for her luxury baby shower, which featured a string of A-list celebrities, Meghan looked relaxed upon their arrival.
Meghan looked radiant in a red Valentino gown (Picture: PA)
The Duchess of Sussex will be promoting gender equality during the tour (Picture: PA)A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said: ‘Their royal highnesses are very much looking forward to the visit and are grateful to their hosts and the British Embassy for arranging such an interesting programme.
‘They are particularly pleased that they will have the opportunity to meet so many young Moroccans over the next few days.’
The couple began their tour, which will see them visit Morocco’s famous Atlas Mountains and the capital Rabat, by walking along a red carpet that led to Casablanca airport’s royal suite.
Mum gives birth to twins 52 miles apart in ‘horrendous’ labourAs they entered the building they were offered milk and dates – a traditional welcome in Morocco.
It was not apparent if Meghan used a spoon to sip the milk in an ornate bowl but Harry could be seen nibbling on a date.
A large motorcade of black limousines was waiting to take the couple and their entourage of nine – which includes a hairdresser – to meet Morocco’s Crown Prince Moulay Hassan.
They are staying as guests of Morocco’s King Mohammed VI at a royal residence.
Harry and Meghan meet Crown Prince Moulay Hassan at a Royal Residence in Rabat (Picture: PA)
Sampling a treat upon arrival in the country (Picture: AFP)
Heavily pregnant Meghan and Harry’s flight was delayed by two hours (Picture: Reuters)Mr Reilly said: ‘It’s hugely exciting to have their royal highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex here for the next few days and I’m really excited to showcase the vital roles that girls’ education and youth employment are playing in shaping modern Morocco.
‘When we began planning for this visit, I had a very clear view in my mind of the story we wanted this visit to tell. It’s the same story we’ve been telling consistently at this embassy for the last 20 months since my arrival here.
‘This official visit by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will highlight Morocco’s focus on women’s empowerment, girls’ education, inclusivity and the encouragement of social entrepreneurship.
‘From a girls’ education project in the High Atlas Mountains, to programmes working with children with disabilities and young people with mental health challenges, to meeting with young social entrepreneurs, their royal highnesses will be shown first-hand the transformational impact of community-based programmes and Morocco’s changing social attitudes towards women.’