Prince Harry followed in his mother Princess Diana’s footsteps—literally—on Friday, September 27. The Duke of Sussex made a poignant visit to a former minefield site that the late Princess of Wales visited in 1997. The dirt path that Diana famously walked over 20 years ago in Angola has since transformed into a paved road in a thriving community. Meghan Markle’s husband looked visibly moved as he retraced his mother’s steps to see the legacy of her work, and how her connection to the community has helped make the elimination of landmines a reality.
"It has been quite emotional retracing my mother's steps along this street 22 years on,” the Duke said in a speech. “And to see the transformation that has taken place from an unsafe and desolate area into a vibrant community of local businesses and colleges.”
“This is a wonderful example of how a UK partnership with Angola can address the issue of landmines. Bringing prosperity to an area, creating jobs, helping people access education and healthcare, and making communities safer. The work of demining is dangerous, expensive, and laborious, and I have the utmost admiration and respect for all who do this,” he continued. “I am incredibly proud as I know my mother would have been of the role that the United Kingdom has played in this transformation.”
Harry, who became patron of the mine clearance charity, the HALO Trust, in 2013, also visited a de-mining site in Dirico, Angola, on Thursday to raise awareness of the danger and prevalence of landmines that still exist today. The dad of one wore body amour and a protective visor, like his mother did, for the engagement. Harry called landmines an “unhealed scar of war.” He said, “By clearing the landmines we can help this community find peace, and with peace comes opportunity.”
On social media, SussexRoyal penned, “The Duke is humbled to be visiting a place and a community that was so special to his mother, and to recognise her tireless mission as an advocate for all those she felt needed her voice the most, even if the issue was not universally popular.”