Harry and Meghan on Tour: What have we learned this week about the world's most talked about couple?

We have just crossed the half way point on the Sussexes’ first Royal Tour in Africa.

So what have we learned in the last six days about probably the most talked-about couple on planet earth?

Frankly, I’ve been surprised by how Harry and Meghan tried very hard to fill the vacuum which has been growing for some time – dramatically so since the birth of Archie.

Demand for Team Sussex is higher than ever - but during Meghan’s maternity leave, supply has been understandably low.

This week, however, we’ve had more access and heard more words from the couple than I’d usually expect in about six Royal Tours.

There were speeches on Monday, short interviews on Tuesday, baby pictures on Wednesday, some climate change passion on Thursday and Princess Diana memories on Friday (and that came with four Harry speeches and one interview in under 12 hours).

Meghan has articulated her horror at the gender-based violence which is becoming a depressing fact of life for women in South Africa.

Harry has spoken of the harm humankind is doing to the planet and the wildlife in it.

The Duchess of Sussex speaks with 12 inspiring female entrepreneurs during a visit to the Woodstock Exchange in Cape Town. Credit: PA

In other words, we’ve seen the couple do – in spades - what members of the Royal Family do best: they use their status and their powers of convening to shine lights, to bring focus on the good and the not-so-good, to direct world attention.

What has that meant for this tour? It means I, and many others, have written and broadcast about township poverty, crime and unemployment, mental health in the young, the problems of racial division, the protection of wildlife, the unfinished work on landmines and the HIV emergency in sub-Saharan Africa.

And it’s clear both Harry and Meghan share a love for this vast continent.

You can see why they are considering spending some extended time in this part of the world in the future.

Prince Harry meets children in Angola. Credit: PA

I’m writing this from a few thousand feet in the air, in a small plane as we fly over Angola and Botswana on our way to Malawi (it’s a very long way and the re-fuelling stops are many).

Prince Harry is in his plane in front of us.

The end of the tour is now a few days away.

It’s clear that he and Meghan are a couple under enormous pressure.

Every step they make, every cause they support, every plane they catch is making news or sparking a million conversations about the whats and the whys, the rights and the wrongs.

Harry has seemed a little strained at times, anxious as he always is to protect his son and his wife from the global attention to which they are constantly subjected.

That kind of attention grows ever more acute on a high-profile royal tour such as this.

The Duke of Sussex has spoken this week of his concern for the world’s problems - and, he said, sometimes it makes him not want “to get out of bed” in the morning.

The Duke of Sussex walks through a minefield in Dirico, Angola, during a visit to see the work of landmine clearance charity the Halo Trust. Credit: PA

He chatted to a Botswanan border guard about all the good in the world - “apart from us humans.”

He’s walked a very emotional walk, retracing the steps his mother took in Angola, nearly 23 years ago, shortly before her death.

And every moment has been chronicled in dozens of camera lenses and broadcast on the news in the UK, the US, Australia, Africa and far beyond.

You wonder if anyone can face all that, and not feel the strain.

Perhaps Harry’s comments on his concern for the world have shown a vulnerable side of him that is not often portrayed.

He has spoken of his mental health struggles before.

For Meghan, this is her second big Royal Tour but the first with a baby.

Each day, the programme has included a break for Archie’s feeding time - at lunchtime - and there have been very few evening engagements - bedtime and bath time with your children is, after all, a very special moment - whether you’re Royal or not.

The Duke of Sussex meets with the President of Angola Joao Lourenco at the presidential palace in Luanda, Angola. Credit: PA

The Duchess of Sussex strikes me as someone who really knows what she wants and knows how she wants to do it.

If I were on her staff, I’d also find it hard to keep up.

And together, Harry and Meghan seem determined to break the mould - to avoid going down the same path taken by The Queen, by the Prince of Wales and by his brother, Prince William.

And as sixth in line to the throne, you might argue Harry has to flexibility to do things differently.

A question I get asked a lot in this job, by friends and colleagues alike, is this: “is it really true the Cambridges and Sussexes don’t get on?”

The truth is, siblings often go their separate ways.

And that’s precisely the case here.

A new wife or a new child is often a moment to re-focus on your most immediate family rather than your brothers and sisters.

And when any new family unit is formed, it will inevitably have different priorities to the ones it had before.

Are William and Harry close?

Not as close as they were (apart from being new fathers).

But perhaps that’s our fault, as a nation, for having labelled them “the boys”, the “best of friends”, the “brothers who bonded after they lost their mum”.

Baby Archie is kissed on the forehead by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Credit: PA

But as a new and captivating force within the Royal Family, Harry and Meghan have shown this week their capacity to make things happen.

Would we be running a story on today’s bulletins about gender based violence in South Africa if it were not for Meghan? No.

Would we have run images of the severe drought in Botswana and the reforestation work in the country if Harry hadn’t visited? Probably not.

Would I be leading the news one night on the pressing need for more money to rid the world of the horrors of landmines by 2025, had Harry not retraced his mothers’ footsteps in Angola? The answer is, no.

This week in Africa, Harry and Meghan have shown what they can do by directing the attention of millions of people to things we wouldn’t otherwise see.

That is both an incredible opportunity for the Sussexes, but also a huge burden.