February 22, 2019 / 7:20 PM / 9 months ago

Britain's Harry and Meghan to champion cause of girls' education in rural Morocco

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, arrive to attend the Endeavour Fund Awards in the Drapers' Hall in London, Britain February 7, 2019. Tolga Akmen/Pool via REUTERS

RABAT (Reuters) - Britain’s Prince Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan will begin a three-day visit to Morocco on Saturday during which they will show their support for rural girls’ education in the Atlas mountains.

The visit at the request of the British government is the second to the kingdom in recent years by a member of the royal family, following a trip by Prince Charles in 2011. Queen Elizabeth visited Morocco in 1980.

It is expected to be the final royal overseas trip before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are due to become parents this spring, according to British media.

The couple arrive in Casablanca on Saturday evening. The next morning they will fly to the Atlas mountains where they will meet girls at a boarding house run by Education for All, an NGO that builds dormitories near schools to reduce school drop-out rates among girls aged 12 to 18, the UK embassy said.

“This visit will help give international publicity to the work we do and will help us raise money to build more boarding houses,” Michael McHugo, founder of Education for All, told Reuters by phone.

While in Asni, Harry and Meghan will meet local high school students and teachers and afterwards attend a football game.

“The visit will add new momentum to tourism in the region,” said Montassir Itri from Asni.

On Monday, the Duke and Duchess will attend an equestrian event in the capital Rabat centering on horse therapy for children with special needs, followed by a cooking event and a meeting with young social entrepreneurs.

The couple is also expected to meet a member of the Moroccan royal family later in the day at a palace in Rabat.

Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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