A tribute to one of their first dates. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s dog’s name, Pula, is inspired by their trip to Botswana, Africa, when they first started dating in 2016. For those who don’t know: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex adopted a black Labrador in 2018. For years, their pup’s name has been secret, and while there were several reports that the couple had named the dog “Oz,” where was no confirmation from Meghan and Harry or Kensington Palace.
During a visit to Sussex in the summer of 2018, Meghan confirmed that she and Harry had adopted a dog, but told well-wishers that the press kept “getting her name wrong.” And so what is Meghan and Harry’s dog name? Well, according to royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s new book, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, which was released on August 11, Meghan and harry’s 2-year-old pup is named Pula, which is also the name of the currency in Botswana.
“That summer the couple welcomed a new addition to the family, a black Labrador rescue they named after Botswana’s currency: Pula,” the authors wrote. “The word means “rain” in the Bantu language of Setswana—and for very good reason. With its semi-arid terrains, the country considers rain valuable and a blessing. Just like the high-energy pooch.”
According to the authors, Meghan and Harry took their first trip to Botswana in August 2016 for Meghan’s 35th birthday. the trip, which came six weeks after they met on a blind date, was the couple’s third official date together. Per the book, the trip was a surprise. Meghan first flew to London and spent the night at Kensington Palace with Harry before boarding a commercial flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, the next morning. The couple then took a private flight to Maun International Airport in Botswana before boarding a 4×4 for the final leg of the trip to Okavango Delta. According to the book, Meghan and Harry spent the rest of their trip in a $2,000-per-night deluxe tent at the Meno a Kweno safari camp.
The trip was so special to Meghan and Harry that the Duchess of Sussex recreated the occasion for Harry’s 35th birthday in September 2019. “Last year, for Harry’s birthday, Meghan recreated their Botswana camping adventures in their backyard,” a source told People in May 2020. “It’s a place that means so much to them—and to Harry in particular—so Meghan wanted to bring that happy place to him on his day so she set up a tent, got sleeping bags, cooked dinner and recreated Botswana where they fell in love.”
It’s not uncommon for royals to keep their pet’s names a secret. In 2012, Prince William and Kate Middleton adopted an English Cocker Spaniel. Though Kensington Palace declined to comment on the dog’s name, calling it a “private manner,” Kate let the name slip when she talked with some students that year and told them that the Cambridge family’s pup is named Lupa. Kensington Palace later confirmed the name and explained that there is no significant meaning other than the family thought it was cute. “There is no significance in it apart from they liked the name,” Kensington Palace said at the time.
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