Prince Harry has had a pretty eventful 2019 so far: he visited Morocco in February and the Netherlands in May, and had royal engagements ranging from meeting politicians to unveiling statues to visiting hospitals. Oh yeah, and he also became a father, welcoming son Archie Harrison with his wife, Meghan Markle, this spring.
All that to say: it would be pretty reasonable if Harry didn’t remember the “Chimpanzee Greeting” that the world-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall taught him when he met her last December.
But when he attended a meeting for her environmental group Roots & Shoots on Tuesday, and she asked him if he remembered it, he proved that he did.
The way that chimps greet each other in the wild, in case that isn’t information you already have on the top of your head, is very ritualistic. At their meeting, Goodall played the role of “a nervous female chimp,” according to People. Harry approached her in the way a male chimp would, bowing his head and moving from his hips, before he patted her on the head, encouraging her to give him a hug.
Royal commentator Emily Andrews captured the whole thing on Twitter.
The two also broke into an impromptu dance. It was dorky and goofy and totally endearing.
It’s not completely clear why it happened — is it because the spirit moved them, or because chimps like ballroom dancing, or because Jane Goodall is an 85-year-old legend who does what she wants? We have no idea, but it’s a delight to watch, and Harry and Meghan have posted it on their Instagram feed for just that purpose:
“Today’s event was full of education, inspiration and fun,” the caption on the Sussex Royal Instagram post reads. “Because working hard and playing hard are not mutually exclusive... 🐒”
Goodall told reporters she’s not surprised Harry feels invested in environmentalism now that he’s a parent.
“We talked about Roots and Shoots and I said, ‘Of course you’re interested now, you have a baby,’ and he said, ‘Of course!’ =” she told People. “When you bring a child into the world, you have to worry about the future. If we don’t make change, we don’t have a future. It’s as simple as that.”
Goodall met and cuddled with baby Archie last month, describing him as “very cute and very gentle.”
She added that she also met Meghan, who she said was very complimentary of her body of work.
“She told me she’s followed me all her life,” Goodall said. “She told me, ‘You’ve been my idol since I was a child. I’ve hero-worshipped you all my life.’”
Meghan has that in common with her husband, it seems: Harry said on Tuesday that he’s admired Goodall “since I was a kid, and it was so wonderful to find that she was even more amazing in person.”
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