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Prince Harry Pays Tribute To Princess Diana On His Trip To Africa

On his current royal tour of Africa, Prince Harry has explained his “deep” connection to the continent and to Botswana in particular. The 35-year-old Duke of Sussex has left his wife, Meghan Markle, and his 4-month-old son, Archie, in South Africa to travel to Botswana today.

Harry has spoken about his personal relationship with the country, saying, “I came in ’97/’98, straight after my mum died, so it was a nice place to get away from it all. But now I feel deeply connected to this place and to Africa.”

Princess Diana died in August 1997 when Harry was just 12 years old. When he got married, Harry used a large center diamond from Botswana for Meghan’s engagement ring, which was lined with two diamonds from his mother's private collection.

Harry’s next stop is Angola, a country that the Princess of Wales was passionate about protecting. She worked tirelessly to rid the nation of landmines. Harry will visit many of the same locations that his mom did in 1997, a few short months before her death.

Diana was the patron of HALO Trust, an organization that removes landmines left behind by war. In January 1997, she toured an Angolan minefield in a helmet and flak jacket, bringing attention to the danger of landmines for local populations.

During her campaign, she was accused of interfering in politics and called a 'loose cannon' by the Earl Howe, an official in the British Ministry of Defence. Despite the criticism, she succeeded in raising international awareness about landmines and the subsequent devastation caused by them.

In June 1997, she spoke at a landmines conference held at the Royal Geographical Society and traveled to Washington, D.C. to endorse the American Red Cross landmines campaign. In August 1997, just days before her death, she visited Bosnia and Herzegovina with Jerry White and Ken Rutherford of the Landmine Survivors Network.

Her work helped lead to the signing of the Ottawa Treaty, which resulted in an international ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines. A few months after her death, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines won the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Today, Harry told reporters, “I don’t think there’s anyone that’s not involved in conservation that shouldn’t be involved in conservation somehow,” referring to his efforts to minimize his carbon footprint and protect the environment.

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