During a current tour to Africa, Prince Harry has walked the stretches of land walked by his late mother, Princess Diana, 22 years ago, before her tragic death. Harry is retracing the steps of his mother through former minefields and connecting with victims of landmines in commemoration of Princess Diana’s efforts to eradicate landmines in war-torn Angola.
Prince Harry said it is an honor to walk where Princess Diana walked 22 years ago and to continue her works. He appreciated the Angolan government for keeping his mother’s dreams alive and immortalizing her in many ways. He spent a night in Dirico in southeastern Angola in a camp maintained by HALO Trust, a British charity that worked with Diana to clear landmines in Angola and other African countries. He remotely detonated a mine in a field outside Dirico to mark his presence there.
“Landmines are an unhealed scar of war,” Harry said. “By clearing the landmines, we can help this community find peace, and with peace comes opportunity.”
The British prince also visited Huambo, where Princess Diana, in 1997, walked a field cleared of landmines to bring assistance to people harmed by landmines. Her activities in Huambo brought the international spotlight to the problems of landmines in Africa, and following the death of Diana, the international community banned the use of landmines.
Harry passed through places where his mother walked but which has now been transformed into schools, shops, and housing areas. He sat under a tree named The Diana Tree on Princess Diana Street on a bench sat upon by the princess in 1997, overcome with emotions of his mother’s legacies in Africa.
“It has been emotional retracing my mother’s steps along this street 22 years on, and to see the transformation that has taken place, from an unsafe and desolate place into a vibrant community of local businesses and colleges,” Harry said.
He visited the Huambo Orthopaedic Centre, which has just been renamed to honor Diana. The center treats orthopedic patients and aims to become Angola’s national orthopedic center in a few years.
“When she visited this center during the conflict, it was full of women, men, and even children injured by landmines,” he said. “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.”