Prince Harry has arrived in Zambia without his wife Meghan amid reports the pregnant duchess pulled out of the trip due to fears over the Zika viarus.
The Duke of Sussex, 34, was in good spirits as he touched down at Lusaka airport on Monday afternoon local time to be greeted by Zambian officials.
Harry will complete the two-day tour of the southern African country alone while his pregnant wife rests up with her mother, who is visiting Britain.
Officially, Harry was always supposed to make the trip alone in his role as president of African Parks but palace insiders have said that it was intended to be a joint visit.
The Duke of Sussex arrives at Lusaka airport, Zambia on Monday. There were reports that he was due to be joined by wife Meghan but she decided to stay at home over Zika concerns
The Duke of Sussex arrives in Zambia. On arrival, Harry was greeted by nine-year-old Jane Chawanangwa,pictured, who presented the prince with a large bunch of flowers
Meghan, who is expecting her first child, will not be joining Harry on a two-day tour of Zambia this week (pictured are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Tonga in October)
On arrival, Harry was greeted by nine-year-old Jane Chawanangwa, who presented the prince with a large bunch of flowers.
Harry left London on Saturday night and is expected to attend an official reception with Zambian officials later today.
His trip will also see him visit the Burma Barracks in the capital Lusaka, where he will commemorate the country’s World War veterans.
Meghan, 37, is believed to have been told to avoid foreign trips that risk exposing her to the Zika virus.
An insider told the Sun: ‘As far as those on the ground in Zambia were concerned both Meghan and Harry were going. But Meghan is exhausted and, understandably, expressed serious concerns about travelling to a country with even the smallest Zika threat.
Harry was given a vibrant welcome from colourfully-dressed dancers when he arrives at Lusaka airport on Monday to kick off a two-day tour of Zambia
Dancers greet Harry at the airport on Monday. Harry left London on Saturday night and is expected to attend an official reception with Zambian officials later today
Dancers give Harry a warm welcome at Lusaka airport today. During his visit, Harry will meet Zambia’s President to learn about the country’s WWI centenary commemorations
‘In the end it was agreed Harry would go it alone and Meghan could rest-up and spend some quality time with Doria, who is down in the UK visiting.’
During his visit, Harry will attend a board meeting with African Parks and meet Zambia’s President to learn about the country’s WWI centenary commemorations.
British High Commissioner to Zambia, Fergus Cochrane-Dyet, said: ‘The Duke of Sussex takes a special interest in Southern African and is assured a warm welcome during this first official welcome to Lusaka’.
A troupe of colourfully dressed dancers greet Harry as he steps off the plane at Lusaka, Zambia this morning. The latest foreign trip comes less than a month after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga
Harry is in high spirits as he touches down in Lusaka. During his visit, Harry will attend a board meeting with African Parks and meet Zambia’s President to learn about the country’s WWI centenary commemorations
The latest foreign trip comes less than a month after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
In October, Public Health England warned pregnant women not travel to a region of India amid fears they could be struck down with Zika.
Zika can cause microcephaly for children in the womb, causing babies to be born with abnormally small skulls.
MailOnline has contacted Kensington Palace for comment.
What is the Zika virus?
The Zika virus is spread by mosquito bites, between people during unprotected sex, and from pregnant mothers to their children.
It cannot be cured or prevented with medicines. Although most adults do not become seriously ill from the infection, it can cause serious birth defects if pregnant women get it.
Foetuses’ brains can be affected by the virus when it is passed on from the mother and it can cause microcephaly.
Microcephaly is a condition in which babies’ heads are unusually small, which can lead to seizures, delayed development and other disabilities.
The virus can also increase the risk of unborn children developing Guillain-Barre syndrome – an uncommon illness in which the immune system attacks the nerves and can cause muscle weakness and paralysis.