Persistence pays off as Meghan fan finally meets her royal idol

26 September 2019 - 11:23 By Philani Nombembe

A scorching sun and a three-hour wait did not dampen Catherine Arzul’s determination to give the Duchess of Sussex a bouquet of flowers on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old’s dream of rubbing shoulders with the royal finally came true in the afternoon, when Meghan Markle met mentors of HIV-positive mothers on the Cape Town Foreshore.

The mentors work for the charity mother2mothers, which trains and employs women living with HIV as frontline health workers across eight African nations. The “mentor mothers” work in the townships.

The duchess’s security detail noticed Arzul standing outside the venue where Meghan, Prince Harry and their baby son Archie met Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu earlier in the day. They allowed her and three other young admirers to wait for the duchess at the entrance.

Catherine Arzul waits with her flowers outside the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation on Wednesday.
Catherine Arzul waits with her flowers outside the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation on Wednesday.
Image: Esa Alexander

After her hour-long engagement, the duchess had a chat with them and hugged them before being whisked away carrying Arzul's flowers and a drawing of her and her husband.

“That was so incredible,” said Arzul, from Kenilworth.

Catherine Arzul's flowers finally made it into the Duchess of Sussex's hands.
Catherine Arzul's flowers finally made it into the Duchess of Sussex's hands.
Image: Reuters

“I got a hug from Meghan. That was just incredible! I told her that it was such an honour to meet her and thanked her for coming to our country.

"And I told her that she is so inspiring and what she said in Nyanga [on Monday] about her being here as a mother and a sister and a woman and a woman of colour. I think that was such an amazing thing to say, and how she is using her impact to spread love and positivity.”

Arzul said the duchess was touched by their brief conversation.

“She just said, 'Thank you'. She was so gracious and humble and when we were all chatting to her she said, ‘Oh you are going to make me cry’. She is so sweet.”

Although it seemed impossible that she would get close to the royal family, Arzul said she did not lose hope.

“I came earlier to the Desmond Tutu meeting and I didn’t get a chance to see her there. I have been here for about 45 minutes. I could not lose hope - I  knew I had to meet her and that if it was meant to be, it will happen.”

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Archie’s tour of southern Africa reached day three when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their baby boy, Archie, met Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in Cape Town on September 25 2019.


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