RABAT: Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan on Monday visited a stables in Morocco where horses provide a source of therapy for disabled youths, before sampling local cuisine at a project for underprivileged children.
The royal couple, on their last official foreign tour before becoming parents, petted the horses and strolled hand in hand through the equestrian club in Sale in the outskirts of Rabat.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are formally known, met workers and disabled young people grooming horses to hear how spending time with the animals helps them to face their challenges.
Meghan chatted with several children and young adults including Zakaria, a 20-year-old with mobility issues who become an IT instructor with help from equine therapy.
The American former actress also spoke to Driss, a 24-year-old with speech difficulties, and Ikram, a 19-year-old with Down syndrome.
The couple, who married last year, appeared relaxed as they stroked horses poking their heads out of the stable doors in the morning sunshine.
A joking Harry asked if anyone had any carrots to feed to them and confided that he missed his own horses.
A heavily pregnant Meghan, wearing her hair in a pony tail, swapped her flowing beige dress of the previous evening for casual black jeans, a Breton striped shirt, green jacket and ankle boots.
Harry also dressed down with grey jeans, a light blue shirt and a black padded jacket for the visit to the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports.
At a later event the couple sampled Moroccan cuisine — which Meghan declared “delicious” — and heard how cooking is being used to help disadvantaged children.
They met renowned Moroccan chef Moha and tasted harira — a traditional Moroccan soup — as well as tajines, salads and couscous among other dishes.
The children also made Moroccan pancakes using a recipe from a cookbook launched by Meghan last year in her first solo charity project in support of families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire disaster in London.
They joked with a group of orphans visibly daunted by their presence in the gardens of the Villa des Ambassadors hotel in Rabat.
Meghan later changed into a black pleated dress and white jacket while Harry wore a grey suit to visit the Kasbah of the Udayas, a fortress at the mouth of the Bou Regreg river.
They met artisans in the Andalusian Gardens and received gifts including a pendant, a wooden jewelry box and a leather pouf.
The couple were due to meet King Mohammed VI on Monday afternoon during what is the first British royal visit to Morocco since Prince Charles and Camilla visited the kingdom in 2011.
The focus of the three-day trip is on initiatives promoting girls’ education, women’s empowerment and the inclusion of people with disabilities.
On Sunday the couple traveled to the foothills of the High Atlas mountains to visit a project that provides free accommodation for girls to give them access to education.
Meghan received a henna tattoo during a traditional ceremony for pregnant women in the North African country.
The royals watched students playing a football match and spoke to teachers before returning to the capital to attend a reception at which they met several female entrepreneurs.