(CBS NEWS) – The world got its first opportunity to really ogle the newest member of Britain’s royal family on Wednesday, as Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, brought baby Archie along to meet a South African icon. Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu, seemed genuinely overjoyed to meet four-month-old Archie as the royal family arrived for a private visit in Cape Town.
Tutu, who practically led the battle to end white rule in South Africa while his friend and compatriot Nelson Mandela spent years in prison, cooed and touched Archie affectionately before stepping inside with the royal family to chat over a cup of tea and discuss the responsibilities of parenting.
Veteran royal correspondent for The Sunday Times, Roya Nikkhah, told CBS News the first bi-racial British royal baby meeting Tutu, “a man who has campaigned for anti-apartheid and equal rights for most of his life,” should not be underestimated.
“There is history in the making there,” Nikkhah told CBS News correspondent Debora Patta. “That is how Harry and Meghan were sending a very powerful message; with something that was quite a lovely, informal meeting, very significant.”
Archie is Queen Elizabeth’s eighth great-grandchild and the seventh in line to the British throne. While Harry and Meghan have released photos of their son to mark his birth and christening, they have tried to keep him largely away from the prying eyes of news cameras, so the visit on Wednesday was the first real chance for the world to see him squirming around in the flesh.
The royal couple have lauded their son as a good baby since their first photo opportunity, during which he remained asleep and barely visible in his swaddling blanket.
They told a South African family with whom they sat for another tea-and-chat on Tuesday that he was calm and quiet for the long flight to South Africa, spending most of the trip sleeping on his father’s chest.
The royals met Tutu and his wife Leah at their legacy foundation in Cape Town on Wednesday, and not only did Archie behave himself, he seemed to play up for the cameras.
During their chat, Tutu’s daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe joked about how comfortable “ladies man” Archie seemed to be amid the hubbub of gathered media.
“He’s an old soul,” Meghan said, as Harry suggested his son was probably “used to it already.”
Harry and Meghan are in the middle of a 10-day visit to Africa, a continent close to the prince’s heart and his charity work on public health and nature conservation, as it was to his mother the late Princess Diana. He said this week that returning to Africa felt “like coming home.”
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