Prince Harry Traveling To Zambia Without Meghan Markle Amid Zika Virus Concerns

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were scheduled to spend two days in Africa, but plans have changed due to concerns about the health of the Duchess of Sussex and her unborn child. Although the trip to Zambia was officially described as a solo visit by Prince Harry all along, The Sun reports that Markle had planned to travel with him until recently. That changed though because of the presence of the Zika virus in Zambia and the threat it poses to the health of the duchess and her first royal child, a royal insider revealed.

“As far as those on the ground were concerned both Meghan and Harry were going. But Meghan is exhausted and, understandably, expressed serious concerns about traveling to a country with even the smallest Zika threat. In the end it was agreed Harry would go it alone and Meghan could rest-up and spend some quality time with Doria, who is down in the UK visiting.”

Zika is a virus spread by mosquitoes. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women and is responsible for serious birth defects like microcephaly and other brain defects. Thirty-seven-year-old Markle is about four months into her pregnancy and has reportedly been warned by doctors to avoid the rainforest and jungles due to an increased risk of her contracting the virus in those areas.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently returned from a tour that included Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Tonga. Harry will visit Africa as a representative of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He is expected to leave Saturday night and will attend a reception Sunday that celebrates the relationship between the U.K. and Zambia. The duke will also honor veterans of both world wars during a visit to Burma Barracks in Lusaka and preside over a board meeting for African Parks, according to Metro. Prince Harry serves as president of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which supports young leaders of social purpose ventures around the world. He will attend an event held by the trust while in Africa. He’s also expected to visit BongoHive, Zambia’s first technology and innovation hive. His tour is scheduled to last through Tuesday.

Markle’s exact due date is not known, but has been said by the palace to fall during the spring of 2019. Many have speculated that she will likely give birth in April. If this is accurate, the birthday of the first child of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will fall in the same month as Prince William and Kate Middleton’s youngest child, Prince Louis.