Harry and pregnant Meghan are banned from walkabouts amid security fears as Moroccan capital is hit by violent riots ahead of their visit
- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are due to fly in to Casablanca airport today
- Arrival comes just days after violent protests in the Moroccan capital of Rabat
- Police had clashed with teachers demonstrating over pay and healthcare
- Now it’s claimed security services are requesting extra resources to protect duo
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to be banned from walkabouts during their three-day trip to Morocco which starts today, according to reports.
It comes just days after the North African country’s capital Rabat was hit by violent protests, as police clashed with teachers demonstrating over pay and healthcare.
Prince Harry, 34, and his wife Meghan, 37, are due to fly in to Casablanca airport on Saturday but is understood British security services have requested extra resources to protect the couple.
Prince Harry, 34, and his wife Meghan, 37, (right on February 12), are due to fly in to Casablanca airport on Saturday but is understood British security services have requested extra resources to protect the couple. Meghan has just flown back to the UK by private jet after enjoying a lavish baby shower with celebrity friends in New York City (left)
Violent protests took place in Morocco’s capital (pictured) – just days before pregnant Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are due to arrive in the country
Police fired water cannons at campaigners, many of them teachers, and beat people with truncheons as they marched towards a royal palace in the capital Rabat
Protection officers have drawn up ‘exit plans’ to get the couple out of harm’s way should there be further clashes, according to The Mirror.
A royal source told the newspaper: ‘The decision was taken to not include a walkabout in Morocco over fears for the duke and duchess’s safety.
‘Due to the nature of the protests across the country this was strongly advised against which they both understood.’
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It was also reported that MI6 had requested an intelligence report from the Moroccan authorities following the riots in Rabat.
Meghan, 37, has just flown back to the UK by private jet after enjoying a lavish baby shower with celebrity friends in New York City.
By the time she returns from Morocco on Monday, she would have clocked up almost 10,000 miles in less than two weeks.
On her whirlwind trip to New York, Meghan was pictured heading to dinner at Ralph Lauren’s restaurant The Polo Bar in New York City on Tuesday night along with a few of her closest friends (left). While earlier in the day, Meghan spent time enjoying the sights and sounds of the Upper East Side, including a trip to the Met Breuer art museum
During the protests in Rabat on Wednesday, police fired water cannons at campaigners, many of them teachers, and beat people with truncheons as they marched towards a royal palace in the city.
Several were clubbed to the ground by officers during the protest, held exactly eight years after the birth of a Moroccan Arab Spring movement that awakened a spirit of activism in the North African kingdom.
The thousands of protesters, many wearing white teachers’ robes, came from across Morocco to Rabat to seek salary raises and promotions and protest the limited opportunities for low-ranking teachers, who earn an average of 400 euros ($454) a month.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are recently seen attending a gala performance of The Wider Earth at the Natural History Museum in London. The couple will not be permitted to go on walkabouts while in Morocco, it has been claimed
They are also angry over temporary government contracts that do not cover health care or pensions.
‘We are doing a peaceful march, but unfortunately the police are cracking down on us. Teachers are falling to the ground’, cried out demonstrator Naima Kalaii, who came from eastern Morocco to join the protest.
‘Teachers are being insulted. Our message is education. Stop the injustice.’
The royal couple are no stranger to large crowds, and in October Meghan was rushed out of a sweltering market in Fiji following a security scare and ‘crowd control’ issues.
She was seen whispering to her aides moments before she was whisked away by her bodyguards from the busy marketplace in Suva, the country’s capital.
The Duchess of Sussex was rushed out of a Fijian market following a security scare in October, in a move which disappointed crowds of well wishers gathered to meet her
The planned 20-minute tour, to meet female stall holders involved with the UN Women’s project ‘Markets for Change’ was cut short, with the Duchess spending just six minutes in the market before she was hurriedly moved along.
The swift change in schedule was put down to a ‘security risk’ with Kensington Palace blaming massive crowds as one royal aide said it was ‘hot, humid and uncomfortably busy.’
Among the items on the couple’s agenda as they tour Morroco this weekend will be a visit to various schools in the small town of Asni.
This will then be following a reception hosted by British Ambassador, Thomas Reilly.
Monday, the third and final day of their tour, will be spent meeting children with special needs, before visiting a cooking demonstration.
Meghan’s Moroccan weekend: Duchess will join a cooking class and meet children having equine therapy during whirlwind tour
The couple will depart on February 23 and spend a busy three days carrying out official engagements in Morocco
The couple will depart on Saturday and spend a busy three days carrying out official engagements in Morocco, before returning to the UK on Monday.
On their arrival to Casablanca airport Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, will be welcomed by the British Ambassador to Morocco and his wife before inspecting a Guard of Honour.
The couple will spend day two of their tour visiting various schools in the small town of Asni, before attending a reception hosted by British Ambassador, Thomas Reilly.
Monday, the third and final day of their tour, will be spent meeting children with special needs, before visiting a cooking demonstration, a traditional Moroccan arts and crafts display and attending a horse grooming session at an equestrian facility.
Saturday, February 23
The Duke and Duchess will depart London and arrive in Morocco following a three hours and 20 minute journey by plane.
They will be greeted by the British Ambassador to Morocco, Thomas Reilly, and his wife Alix at Casablanca Airport, before Harry inspects a Guard of Honour.
Sunday, February 24
The Duke and Duchess will visit a boarding house in the town of Asni.
The Moroccan NGO ‘Education For All’ builds boarding houses for girls aged 12 to 18 to ensure that girls from rural communities in the High Atlas Mountains region are able to access secondary education.
The couple will meet girls living at the boarding house and the housemother, and tour the facilities before a henna ceremony is performed on The Duchess.
They will then visit the local Secondary School meeting students and teachers, before watching children playing football.
On their arrival to Casablanca airport the Meghan, 37, and Harry, 34, will be welcomed by the British Ambassador to Morocco and his wife
The royals will continue their busy day with a visit to the original ‘Education For All’ boarding house where The Duke will invest founder Michael McHugo, with the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
Mr McHugo was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list 2019 for services to improving gender equality in education in Morocco.
The Duke and Duchess will then attend a reception hosted by the British Ambassador to Morocco and his wife in Rabat, meeting influential Moroccan women, young entrepreneurs and disabled athletes among others.
Monday February 25
Harry and Meghan will begin their final day with a visit to the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports.
They will learn more about Morocco’s developing programme of supporting children with special needs through equine therapy.
The Duke and Duchess will attend a horse grooming session with some of the children, before watching a riding demonstration and meeting trainers and instructors.
The couple will also meet young people from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as a mental health charity and individuals involved.
In the afternoon Harry and Meghan will visit a cooking demonstration where children from under-privileged backgrounds in Rabat will learn traditional Moroccan recipes from one of Morocco’s foremost chefs.
The Duke and Duchess will meet disabled children who are working in a specially-designed restaurant in Rabat.
Concluding their packed tour in Rabat, the couple will visit the Andalusian Gardens where they will hear about youth empowerment in Morocco from a number of young social entrepreneurs.
The couple will see traditional Moroccan arts and crafts on display in the walled public garden amid exotic plants, flowers and fruit trees, before returning to England.
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