World Elephant Day was yesterday, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrated by posting some never-before-seen photos from the 2017 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Africa trip!
On this day in Botswana two years ago, Meghan and Harry helped out Elephants Without Borders founder Dr. Mike Chase on his mission to protect African elephants through documentation of their migratory patterns.
Not only did the now royal couple get to participate in the conservation effort, they also got up-close and personal with the elephants themselves.
The photos posted on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s official Instagram contain several close ups of the huge, beautiful creatures they got to see. There’s a shot of two young elephants playfully colliding by a lake. Another photo seems to be an adult elephant standing protectively by his or her little ones. One photo even shows Meghan’s hands gently caressing an elephant’s trunk.
At the end of the Instagram post’s caption is a partial photo credit to “DOS,” presumably an abbreviation for the Duke or Duchess of Sussex. Meaning, some of those awesome elephant action shots could’ve been taken by Meghan herself!
In the post, the couple was happy to announce that since they followed Elephants Without Borders on Instagram, the nonprofit was able to “help protect 25 elephants by fitting them with satellite navigation collars” along with the support of Ellen Degeneres’s wildlife fund.
The photo with Meghan gently holding an elephant’s trunk has particularly gained a lot of attention for a rather unexpected reason—her jewelry. In it, the Duchess of Sussex dons a gold hamsa ring on her thumb. The 14-carat rose gold ring with a sapphire iris from Turkish brand Kismet by Milka is now priced at $440 and seems to be one of Meghan’s favorite accessories, in addition to her most fabulous bejeweled pieces.
While her dainty gold hamsa ring shines with beauty and intrigue in the posted photo, Meghan’s beloved twinkly little accessory also holds deeper meaning. In Jewish and Islamic culture, the hamsa is said to have protective powers, warding off the evil curses one’s enemies wish upon them while granting the wearer good fortune.
Not only is Botswana the place Meghan and Harry helped preserve Africa’s biodiversity by assisting Elephants Without Borders, but it’s also where the couple took their first vacation.
In 2016, Harry romantically whisked Meghan away to Botswana just weeks after they began dating. In their first joint interview, the couple revealed how special the country is to their relationship. Even Meghan’s engagement ring was sourced from Botswana.
In fact, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made Botswana a destination on the 2019 Archie, Prince Harry, and Duchess Meghan Markle Africa tour, planning to visit the country in which their love blossomed for a third time.
Inside Meghan and Harry’s pre-engagement trip to Botswana
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Share Never-Before-Seen Photos with Elephants from 2017 Botswana Trip
Duchess Meghan Shows the $300 Hamsa Ring She Wore in Botswana — and it Has Protective Powers