The Duke of Sussex continues to honor his dearly departed mother's legacy as he walked through a partially-cleared minefield 22 years after Diana, Princess of Wales, did.
Prince Harry was only around 13 years old when his mother Princess Diana died as the result of injuries from a car crash in the early hours of August 31, 1997. Earlier on Thursday and Friday, The Duke of Sussex walked through a partially-cleared minefield in Angola as his late mother did 22 years ago. The Prince was out to highlight the threat posed by landmines which have claimed many an unsuspecting life over the years, even in times of peace.
The UN estimates that with current technology, it will take nearly 1,100 years to clear all the mines in the world. The former landmine field in Angola is now a vibrant community, with several colleges, schools, and small businesses. A tree, dubbed The Diana Tree, marks the spot where she was photographed in 1997.
Prince Harry paid tribute to his mother’s legacy on his royal tour of Africa by visiting a demining site there she once walked. pic.twitter.com/urHY7TGZ0T— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 27, 2019
The BBC reported that Prince Harry wore body armor as he walked through a former artillery base near the town of Dirico. Not only is the Prince visiting the same venues his mother did over two decades ago, but he is also meeting people her mother interacted with on her visit to the country. When Prince Harry visited the city of Huambo on Friday, the 35-year-old Duke made an appearance at the Princess Diana Orthopaedic Center, where his mother had been in 1997 and has since been renamed in her honor since her demise. After that, he met a landmine victim Sandra Thijika who was only 13 when she shared a special moment with his mother.
Prince Harry today: “It has been an honour to retrace my mother’s steps today. I lost her twenty-two years ago, but the memory of her is with me daily and her legacy lives on which is why I am so happy to name the centre - “The Princess Diana Orthopaedic Centre.” #RoyalTourAfrica— Victoria Murphy (@byQueenVic) September 27, 2019
Princess Diana met the young teenager Sandra under a fig tree at an orthopedic workshop during her visit to the landmine field. Now 22 years later, the woman is now 35 years old and wears a prosthetic leg to help move around. Prince Harry shook her hand, knelt down beside her and had a warm conversation which brought big smiles to Sandra's face.
Wrong! He has cared about continuing with his mother’s work in Africa way before he even met Meghan— HerSheMiss (@HerSheMiss) September 27, 2019
In April 2017 The Duke launched the Landmine free 2025 campaign with @TheHALOTrust and Mines Advisory Group.
Aside from Sandra, Prince Harry also met Justina Cesar, another landmine victim who lost her leg when she was only 3-years-old. There were also other young patients that were at the center receiving treatment who got a chance to interact with the Royal Prince. Harry then toured the facilities and met other important officials such as the country's Minister for Health, the Director of Orthopedic Center and even a representative of BP, which has donated equipment to the hospital. According to the country's officials, the hospital has undergone a recent renovation and now strives to be Angola's national center of excellence in orthopedic care.
I’d imagine Diana would be so proud of both her sons.— susan b (@suzb_00) September 27, 2019
The Prince, who recently became a dad to a son, Archie, shared an emotional testimonial at the venue, where he expressed the meaning and impersonal need for this visit to Angola. “Since my mother’s visit to Huambo so many years ago, this city has undergone such a visible transformation,” he said in his speech. “I am humbled and honored that my mother’s work and commitment to de-mining continues to inspire and that her legacy is being recognized and celebrated today with the naming of the center in her honor,” he added.
“It has been an honor to retrace my mother’s steps today. I lost her twenty-two years ago, but the memory of her is with me daily and her legacy lives on which is why I am so happy to name the center – ‘The Princess Diana Orthopaedic Centre.’ I am incredibly proud as I know my mother would’ve been, of the role that the United Kingdom has played in this transformation through funding and the expertise brought by UK specialist organizations such as the HALO Trust and Mines Advisory Group.” he said in a closing statement.