Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 June 2019

Royals in Morocco: Meghan Markle gets a traditional henna tattoo on school visit

The duchess received the temporary design during an official visit to the town of Asni

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have arrived in Asni, Morocco, for day two of their three-day tour of the country.

Their first full day in the North African nation began with a visit to the Education For All boarding house in the rural town of Asni, which is located near the High Atlas mountains.

During the visit, the pregnant duchess took part in a traditional henna ceremony with girls who live and study at the boarding house during the week.

Scroll through the gallery above to see more from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's visit to Asni, Morocco.

ASNI, MOROCCO - FEBRUARY 24: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during a Henna ceremony as they visit the "Education For All" boarding house for girls aged 12 to 18 on February 24, 2019 in Asni, Morocco. "Education For All" ensures that girls from rural communities in the High Atlas Mountain regions have access to secondary education. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby - Pool/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Sussex admiring her temporary henna tattoo. Getty Images

The Education For All accommodation is for girls aged 12 to 18, and, according to the Kensington Palace Twitter account: "70 per cent of women and girls in Morocco are illiterate. Many have limited access to secondary school or no means of affording transport to school".

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's flower henna pattern was painted by 17-year-old student Samira, who has lived at the boarding house for the past six years.

According to The Mirror: "[Henna is traditional] in Morocco during the seventh month of pregnancy to celebrate the health of mother and baby."

The British royals' short trip is particularity focused on youth empowerment and the education of girls and young women.

For the remainder of their visit, Prince Harry and Meghan are expected to visit the Moroccan Royal Federation of Equestrian Sports to learn about equine therapy for People of Determination, and learn about traditional Moroccan cuisine at the Villa des Ambassadors.

ASNI, MOROCCO - FEBRUARY 24: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets young girls as she visits the "Education For All" boarding house for girls aged 12 to 18, with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex on February 24, 2019 in Asni, Morocco. "Education For All" ensures that girls from rural communities in the High Atlas Mountain regions have access to secondary education. ((Photo by Tim P. Whitby - Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets young girls as she visits the Education For All boarding house. Getty Images

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said of the trip: "It will build on the close relationship between the UK and Morocco.

"The Duke and Duchess are looking forward to the visit, which will highlight the vital roles that girls’ education and youth empowerment are playing in, and shaping, modern Morocco."

The couple's visit to Morocco is the first since Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles, visited in 2011. Queen Elizabeth II visited the country on an official trip in 1980.

This is believed to be the last overseas engagement for the Duchess of Sussex before she welcomes her first child towards the end of April.

Updated: February 24, 2019 04:32 PM

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