/ 3 November 2007

Prince Harry spends day with Lesotho orphans

Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, met on Friday with Aids orphans being cared for by a charity in Lesotho launched in memory of his late mother Princess Diana, royal sources said.

The 23-year-old, on his fifth visit to the mountainous Southern African kingdom, travelled to a remote western region where he launched the Sentable charity a little over a year ago.

As well as meeting some of the children, he was also briefed by managers of the charity, which means ”forget me not” in seSotho.

About 100 youngsters are cared for by the orphanage project. Most of the children have either lost one or more of their parents to HIV/Aids and their surviving relatives are too poor to care for them.

Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997, was well-known for her charity work on behalf of HIV/Aids sufferers and children.

The project is headed by both Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso, who returned home from his posting as ambassador to London a fortnight ago to prepare for the visit, said sources in the Lesotho royal palace.

Contacted by phone at the orphanage, near the town of Mohale’s Hoek, Prince Seeiso said that he was ”too busy with children” and that he had ”important visitors”.

Harry has been a frequent visitor to landlocked Lesotho, a country racked by HIV/Aids and poverty.

He spent two months working in Lesotho during his gap year between school and university and made a television documentary about the plight of the country’s children in 2004.

There are more than 100 000 children orphaned by HIV/Aids in Lesotho, which has a population of about two million people. – Sapa-AFP