PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle will give baby Archie a starring role in their Africa tour to “turn the tide of bad publicity”, a royal expert claims.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been dogged by controversy over the summer – from Meghan’s visit to Wimbledon to the couple’s private jet fury.
They are set to embark on their first royal tour as a family on Monday for ten days of public engagements.
A royal expert has now claimed the pair know the trip needs to sway public opinion on them.
The source told Vanity Fair: “They and their aides know this tour has to be a success, and everything has been planned meticulously so there is no margin for error.”
Royal author Ingrid Seward has also spoken out – believing five-month-old Archie may get a thrust into the spotlight as the couple try to claw back some of their popularity.
The tot hasn’t yet officially been seen in public since Harry and Meghan first showed him off to the world after he was born in Windsor in May.
And they haven’t yet confirmed whether he will attend any of their engagements while in Africa.
ARCHIE’S ‘STARRING ROLE’
Ingrid said: “People will want to see baby Archie who could be the key player in this. I think if they show as a glimpse of Archie it could turn things around for the Sussexes.
“It’s a small thing but it could end up being a very big thing in terms of better press coverage. They’ve had a tough run, this is a chance to make it better.”
The couple are currently in Rome attending the wedding of fashion designer Misha Nonoo, 31, and oil tycoon boyfriend Michael Hess – but they flew commercial.
They were branded hypocrites last month after they used four gas-guzzling private flights in 11 days while launching a bid urge the public to watch their carbon footprint.
Harry and Meghan jetted to Nice and Ibiza over two weeks in August, creating seven times the normal amount of carbon emissions on the flights.
Then, two weeks ago Meghan flew to New York to watch pal Serena Williams play in the final of the US Open, leaving Harry and Archie back at Frogmore Cottage.
This came after the royal couple snubbed visiting the Queen at Balmoral – leaving the monarch feeling “hurt and disappointed”.
Former actress Meghan has also been accused of “considering herself more of an A-lister than a member of the royal family” over her guest-edit of Vogue magazine.
Both Harry and Meghan have faced critisism over their privacy demands – including holding a top-secret christening where they refused to tell the public who Archie’s godparents are.
Meghan’s security also banned Wimbledon fans from taking photos of her when she attended the tournament this summer.
ROYAL AFRICA TOUR
Day One: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will visit a workshop in Cape Town that teaches children about their rights and provides self-defence classes
The couple will also tour District Six Museum to learn about the work done to reunite people affected by the apartheid.
Day Two: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will travel to Monwabisi Beach to learn about Waves for Change.
They will also see the work of the Lunchbox Fund, which provides meals to schools across towns and rural areas.
Prince Harry will then join the City of Cape Town Marine Unit to learn about the work done to combat poaching.
In the afternoon, Meghan and Harry will visit the oldest mosque in the country and finally attend a reception at the British High Commissioner’s Resident.
Day Three: The Sussexes will meet the Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mrs Tutu at their legacy foundation.
Meghan will then stay in South Africa, visiting the Woodstock Exchange that encourages female entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry goes to Botswana where he will join school kids to plant trees.
Day Four: Meghan Markle will take part in a Women in Public Service breakfast.
Day Five: Prince Harry will go to Angola, seeing the legacy that his mother Princess Diana started in raising awareness for the threat of landmines.
He will also visit where his mother was famously photographed.
Day Six: Prince Harry will meet with President Lourenco at the Presidential Palace.
He will then visit a maternity hospital before travelling to Malawi.
Day Seven: Prince Harry will visit a local college that supports women obtaining and education.
He will also meet wiith President Peter Mutharika.
Day Eight: Prince Harry will fly to a national park to pay tribute to guardsman Mathew Talbot, who lost his life while on an anti-poaching patrol.
Day Nine: The Duke will visit the Mauwa Heath Centre before heading back to South Africa
Day Ten: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will again join up, meeting with inspiring local youth
They will also meet with Grace Machel, the widow of the late President Nelson Mandela
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She has now enlisted the help of a crisis management firm that once represented Harvey Weinstein in a bid to improve her image.
Meghan hired Sunshine Sachs — a firm whose clients included the late pop star Michael Jackson, who has been accused of paedophilia.
In a massive break with royal tradition, the Duchess went behind the backs of Buckingham Palace advisers to hire the company, known for using the so-called “dark arts” of public relations to improve the celebs’ reputations.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will embark on their royal tour on Monday[/caption]