The new initiave will focus on the “environment and community” and has been boosted by a donation from a campaign to protect lions in Africa. After attending the European premiere of The Lion King on Sunday, the couple announced that Walt Disney’s Protect the Pride campaign had contributed to the project which will be formally launched this autumn. Royal fans jumped on the announcement, saying it hinted that the couple would use their upcoming visit to Africa to kick-off their charity work, as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex forge their own path separately from Prince William and Kate’s public duties.
Harry is a longtime campaigner against the poaching of lions and has in the past worked with the South African military to protect the country’s rapidly decreasing population.
The new parents made the announcement in an Instagram post alongside a snap of them strolling down the carpet at the premiere of the remake of the 1994 classic.
The statement on the SussexRoyal page read: “This evening, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended #TheLionKing European premiere in London at the Odeon Theatre.
“In celebration of the film’s release, The Walt Disney Company announced #ProtectThePride, a global conservation campaign to support efforts protecting the rapidly diminishing lion population across Africa.
“As a part of their commitment to this cause, Disney also made a donation to The Duke of Sussex’s upcoming environment & community initiative which will be formally announced this autumn.
“The Duke and Duchess are committed to advancing conservation efforts across Africa and around the world, and working with communities to ensure a sustainable future for the planet.”
According to the African Wildlife Foundation, the continent’s lion population has plummeted by 43 percent in the last 20 years.
In June, Kensington Palace announced that Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, would set up their own charitable foundation and cut ties with the Royal Foundation.
And it comes after earlier this year, the Sussexes announced they would set up their own household, separate from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
After watching the film at the Leicester Square theatre, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were introduced to the cast, including Beyonce.
They also met with supporters of African Parks Network, a non-profit conservation organisation which Harry is president of.
In June, reports emerged that Harry and Meghan will also bring their royal baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor on his first overseas trip to southern Africa this autumn.
The family of three will visit South Africa and the Duke will make short trips to Malawi, Angola and Botswana.
It is no surprise the couple chose the continent for their first tour as a family-of-three.
Harry and Meghan held their third date in Botswana and Africa has long held a special place in the duke’s heart, perhaps because of his mother’s charitable work there.
The Sussexes said in a social media post they look forward to “meeting so many of you on the ground and continuing to raise awareness of the high impact work local communities are doing across the Commonwealth and beyond”.
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