Prince Harry Welcomed By Circus Performers During Zambia Visit

'This is clearly an exciting place to be!'

prince harry
Ian Vogler - WPA Pool / Getty Images

'This is clearly an exciting place to be!'

Prince Harry met with circus performers during his brief solo trip to Zambia, praising the jugglers and stilt-walkers for their infectious enthusiasm and apologizing for the absence of his wife, Meghan Markle.

As Entertainment Tonight reports, the Duke of Sussex is tearing through Africa on a series of brief visits highlighting the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which provides support to organizations helping to better the lives of people in the Commonwealth – that is, countries that still maintain a relationship, however informal, with the crown.

In Zambia, in the city of Lusaka, Circus Zambia is just such an organization. Using the ancient art of circus performance, the organization hopes to provide Lusaka’s at-risk children and teenagers with a purpose, as well as job opportunities and the chance to entertain.

Surrounded by smiling teenagers and adults on stilts, it was one of the rare occasions where the rather tall – 6-foot, one-inch – Duke to be the smallest person in the room. He also got to watch local children perform in what was called a “high-energy” dance.

“This is clearly an exciting place to be! You have filled this place with song and your optimism is infectious — what a wonderful introduction to your work.”

Elsewhere in Zambia, the duke stopped by a former military barracks in Lusaka, according to the Express. There, he met with military veterans who served in the African Campaign during World War II. There, adorned with white baseball caps and poppies affixed to their jackets, the duke joked with the aged men and women, some of whom were widows of men who died in the war.

Elsewhere, he paid a visit to Bongo Hive, Zambia’s first technology and innovation hub, where investors and teachers help Zambians interested in technology.

“As President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, and Her Majesty’s Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, I see the great strides you are taking every day in the service of others.”

Of course, the one thing that was on a lot of minds in Africa was the absence of Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle. The duke did mention that the duchess regretted not being able to attend, but that she sent her warmest regards.

Meghan, who is extremely pregnant, likely didn’t want to make a 10-hour flight for a whirlwind tour of a foreign land in the hot sun, all while carrying a child. Rather, she’s keeping her schedule more low-key, having remained in London to meet with survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.