Primologist Jane Goodall leaves Duchess Meghan starstruck – plus why Prince Harry does a monkey dance

The duchess told Dr Goodall that she has ''hero worshipped'' her since she was a child.
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Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are well accustomed to spending time in the company of the world’s most famous people.

They are, after all, members of the British royal family.

But the Duchess was endearingly starstruck when she recently met her “childhood idol”, ethologist and primatologist Jane Goodall.

Prince Harry met with Dr Goodall on Tuesday at the Roots & Shoots Global Leadership Meeting at Windsor Castle. Roots & Shoots is a global programme, founded by Dr Goodall in 1991, that empowers young people through hands-on projects to take action to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment.

The duke met with Dr Goodall in his capacity as President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.

But it was following this meeting that Dr Goodall revealed she’d actually met with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Frogmore Cottage in June; and it was during that visit, away from the cameras, that Meghan revealed herself to be a big fan.

“She told me she’s followed me all her life. She told me, ‘You’ve been my idol since I was a child. I’ve hero worshipped you all my life,’ ” said Dr Goodall.

Prince Harry has met Dr Goodall several times before but she noted his interest in conservation has increased now that he is 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 said. “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.”

Dr Goodall got in a cuddle with baby Archie, saying the two-month-old was “very cute and very gentle”.

Prince Harry and Dr Jane Goodall performed a monkey dance at the Roots & Shoots Global Leadership Meeting at Windsor Castle. Source: Getty

At Tuesday’s meeting Dr Goodall and Prince Harry delighted everyone by performing a monkey dance together.

Dr Goodall asked him if he remembered the “chimp greeting” from when they’d previously met and the pair then re-enacted it, with Prince Harry approaching her as if he was a male chimp and she was a nervous female chimp. He patted her on the head, which in chimp talk is understood as encouragement to give him a hug.

The Duke and Duchess shared news of the meeting on their Instagram page, explaining:

“Today, The Duke of Sussex met with young people doing ground-breaking work in their communities as part of Dr. Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Global Leadership gathering…

“His Royal Highness believes that people are at the heart of conservation and sustainability and that in order to succeed we need an inclusive, community-centred approach. In his roles as President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, The Duke has met young people from around the world who are leading the way with creative sustainability solutions and campaigns – it is thanks to the creativity of young people’s minds, that we can turn the tide and preserve our planet for future generations.”

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