Royal baby Archie received a welcome kiss from Archbishop Desmond Tutu as he made his first appearance on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s tour of Africa.
The four-month-old, held by his mother, posed for a picture with one of the heroes of the anti-Apartheid movement after his parents made the unannounced decision to introduce him to the spiritual leader.
Archie made an impression with the Archbishop’s daughter who joked the young royal favoured “ladies better” when she caught him glancing in her direction and Meghan declared “he likes to flirt”.
The royal baby, who has only been seen twice in public since his birth, stole the show by giggling, smiling and captivating the spiritual leader who said he was “thrilled” by the “rare privilege and honour” to meet the royals.
Proud parents Harry and Meghan told the retired Archbishop how their son was very active and seemed to understand much of what was going on, despite his age.
The 87-year-old cleric and his daughter, Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe, spent half an hour with the couple and Archie at the historic premises of his Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, the Old Granary, a restored centuries-old edifice built by slaves.
For the informal meeting Meghan sat on a sofa with Archie on her lap and Harry beside her, while the retired archbishop and his daughter sat opposite them.
The group laughed and giggled as they watched the duchess take her son’s arms and dance with the young royal who wore dungarees, a top and socks.
Harry said about his son: “He’s so busy, constantly wanting to stand,” with Meghan adding “exploring”.
The veteran peace activist, who was effectively the leader of South Africa’s liberation struggle during Nelson Mandela’s long imprisonment, looked at the baby and said “he understands”.
The duchess agreed and said: “I know, he’s an old soul” and putting on a baby voice asked her son “can you say hi”.
Archie looked over at the Archbishop’s daughter who said: “You like me best, you like the ladies better.”
When Meghan and Harry first arrived, Mr Tutu greeted them with laughter and beside him was his daughter who is chief executive officer of the Desmond Tutu Desk campaign, which creates portable desks for schoolchildren.
The duke and duchess were briefed about the legacy foundation which is the global rallying point for the Archbishop’s values about respect of people and the earth.
Established by the cleric and his wife Leah Tutu, its mission is to pass on the statesman and his partner’s wisdom and instil their values in the next generation of leaders.
The Archbishop told the couple: “Thank you for your concern and interest in the welfare of our people. It’s very heart-warming, let me tell you, very heart-warming to realise that you really genuinely are caring people.”
Harry said in response: “We all try to make things better”.
The duke last met the Archbishop in November 2015 when the Queen named him as an honorary member of The Order of the Companions of Honour, in recognition of his services to UK communities as well as international peace and reconciliation.
He was also a recipient of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in resolving and ending Apartheid.
Born in 1931 in Klerksdorp, Transvaal, South Africa, he became the first Black Anglican Archbishop of both Cape Town and Johannesburg.
During the 1980s, he played a role in drawing national and international attention to the iniquities of Apartheid.
In 1993, South African Apartheid finally came to an end, and in 1994, South Africans elected Mr Mandela as their first black president.
Mr Mandela also appointed Mr Tutu to head the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, tasked with investigating and reporting on the atrocities committed by both sides in the struggle over Apartheid.
The father of four chaired the commission and since then has continued to draw attention to a number of social justice issues.
Although he officially retired from public life in the late 1990s, the Archbishop continues to advocate for social justice and equality across the globe.