There were hugs and presents for Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when they embarked on an impromptu walkabout in Cape Town’s historic District Six neighbourhood.
Harry and Meghan were embraced by 81-year-old Somaya Ebrahim, who was in the crowds when the duke’s grandmother the Queen first visited the city with her parents and sister in 1947.
The former District Six resident, who with thousands of others was forcibly removed to a township with her family during the Apartheid era, asked the couple: “Where’s Archie?” and was told the four-month-old baby was sleeping.
Others who lived through the infamous event said the duchess understood their plight better because of her mixed race heritage.
And the duchess appeared visibly moved as she listened to the plight of one elderly couple who described how they were ousted from their home, which was later pulled down.
Hours after declaring herself a “woman of colour” during a visit to a Cape Town township, the duchess, accompanied by the duke, visited the District Six Homecoming Centre after their walkabout.
The visitor attraction, part of the nearby District Six Museum the royals also toured, offers a place for former residents to meet and cook as a means of keeping the spirit of the area alive.
Fairuz Achmat-Basardian, 52, who was six when her family was forced out in 1971, said after the royal visit: “It means a lot to us all that Meghan is mixed race. She understands better what has happened to us.”
Patience Watlington, 77, who had made the couple a mutton and tomato stew, said the duchess had sung the praises of slow cooking.
“She just said slow cooking is very nourishing,” said Ms Watlington.
The duke declared the stew delicious.
“It is amazing food. If we had time I would eat all of it.”
The couple tasted a butter bean stew made by Asa Salie, 67, and Shahnaz Arnold, 57