Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton sometimes stay home in England while their husbands go abroad on various trips here and there, while other times they travel with their husbands overseas. And as The Express reports, the reason why has to do with one of the many complicated rules of the British royal family.
The Windsors have two overarching categories in their job descriptions. Sometimes, they’re the living embodiment of England, and as such, they represent the country – its government, its history, its traditions – when they go abroad on official state visits. Other times, they act as their own people, championing causes that they support personally, such as Prince Harry’s mental health initiative or the various charities that the Windsors support.
So when Prince William or Prince Harry is in this place or that place on an official state visit or as a cultural ambassador for the United Kingdom, of course, it’s proper and fitting that either man would be accompanied by his wife. But when one or the other goes somewhere to advocate for a charity or a cause, tradition dictates that their wives stay at home.
That’s why Prince William, who as reported by the Inquisitr is in Namibia to fight poaching, is going it alone.
— The Namibian (@TheNamibian) September 25, 2018
Fighting illegal wildlife trafficking, while an admirable goal, is Prince William’s own thing. He’s not in Namibia on an official state visit, or in any way representing the U.K. It’s just him – and that’s why custom says his wife, Kate Middleton, must stay home.
“This will be a particular focus of my upcoming visit to Africa, and of course the conference on the illegal wildlife trade taking place here in London in October.”
Similarly, when Prince Harry went to Botswana earlier this year to advocate for black rhino conservation, Meghan Markle stayed home.
It’s customary for members of the royal family to serve as patrons/patronesses of various charities – some 3,000 patronages are distributed amongst the currently-living Windsors. Queen Elizabeth herself, for example, is the patroness of 510 charities, for which she’s raised about £1.4 billion (about $1.84 billion) throughout her life.
So far, Meghan Markle hasn’t yet selected a cause that would require her to travel overseas. She has, however, picked a cause, and it’s a much more “local” one: She’s working with survivors of the Grenfell Tower Fire. To help raise money for the victims, the Duchess of Sussex released a cookbook (Meghan reportedly loves cooking), with proceeds going to a fund for them.