Archie set to sit on own throne, a gift from a KZN craftsman

Durban – Little Archie Harrison cooed and smiled his way into thousands of hearts in South Africa this week, while on a diplomatic visit with his mom and dad, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

And now the newest addition to the British royal family will have his own throne when he arrives home, courtesy of royalty from KwaZulu-Natal.

Four month old Archie, who met the Arch, Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu this week, will receive a handcrafted tambuti baby armchair from KwaDakuza-based craftsman, Kuber Eadhev Singh, widely known as Tambuti Singh. “When Princess Di got married I sent her a tambuti jewellery box and now I’m giving her grandson a beautiful baby armchair and the child can use it up to 10 years old,” said Singh.

He said he would send it to London so that it arrived when Archie and his parents reached home.

Singh added that the value of the chair was in the range of R5000. He said it would have a padded seat covered with cream leather to complement the wood. Archie’s name was also be carved into it.

113629585 - Archie set to sit on own throne, a gift from a KZN craftsman
Master craftsman Tambuti Singh with the chair he created for baby Archie in KwaDakuza. Picture: Leon Lestrade African News Agency (ANA)

Singh also sent Markle a jewellery box as a wedding gift and Archie’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, received a handcrafted “holy cross” which she put on the queen mother’s grave.

Singh, 77, a descendant of the royal family from Agra in India, home to one of the most iconic monuments, the Taj Mahal, takes his name tambuti from the tree that is unique to South Africa and can only be found in two provinces.

His gifts have graced palaces and famous buildings around the world, including the White House. Former US President George W Bush received a Tambuti table, with a bullet in it shortly after the 9/11 terror attacks.

The wood from which the table was made apparently saved the life of a person during the 1906 Bambatha Rebellion when it lodged in a tree instead of a body. Singh said he felt that the bullet symbolised the strength of the US people.

“Sometimes when I look at my wall I think how happy I am to have letters from all these famous people. Ronald and Nancy Reagan, the British Queen and George W Bush.

“I’m so fortunate I have all their signatures,” said Singh. Previously even India’s former president, Pratibha Patil received a rare treasure chest carved from a 1200 year old tambuti wood as a woman’s day gift from him.

Described as a “flirt” by his mom and a “ladies man” by Archbishop Tutu’s daughter, baby Archie will have to wait a few more days before he gets to explore his bespoke chair.

Archie and Meghan remained in Cape Town for a few days while Prince Harry continued to other countries in Southern Africa to complete his work.

In Angola, he followed in the footsteps of his mother, Princess Diana, 22 years later, by detonating a landmine.

Meanwhile, Meghan paid a private visit to the Post Office where Uyinene Mrwetyana was raped and killed last month, and tied a ribbon at a shrine in honour of the student.

The three royals are scheduled to spend this week in Johannesburg.

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