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Prince Harry made his annual visit to Lesotho but this time there’s an even more special reason than in years past. The African nation has always been close to the royal’s heart, having co-founded the charity Sentebale with Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso. But after nearly a decade of work, they can now celebrate the official opening of The Mamohato Children’s Centre.

The princes set up Sentebale in 2006 in memory of both their mothers. And now Harry is honouring the Princess of Wales and one other very important woman in his life: his former nanny, Olga Powell.

olga

“When Olga passed away the family donated the money that would have gone to flowers to Sentebale,” said Cathy Ferrier, Sentebale’s chief executive. “That’s why this building is in loving memory of Olga Powell.”

Powell cared for Harry and William over the course of 15 years, starting when William was six months old. She died in 2012 and while Will was able to make her funeral, Harry wasn’t, as he was on active duty in Afghanistan at the time.

The centre’s dining hall, meanwhile, is named after the late Princess of Wales.

“It’s the place where all the children will gather three times a day (for meals) plus do games and drama and goodness knows what else — it felt like the right place to be in memory of his mother,” Ferrier said.

Prince Harry gave a moving speech as he opened the centre for children with HIV in Africa, inspired by Diana’s work. Harry opened up about the “gaping hole” his mother’s death left in his life. But he found solace with the children of Lesotho, whom he fell in love with during his travels to the country.

“Eleven years ago I made my first visit to Lesotho… As we travelled the country I was… struck by the many children I met whose lives had been shattered by the loss of a parent and in some cases both,” Harry said. “I couldn’t believe that so many children had been robbed of their childhoods by extreme poverty and the ravages of HIV and AIDS.”


He continued: “Although our situations couldn’t have been more different, I felt an overwhelming connection to many of the children I met… For so many of the children in Lesotho, that situation was compounded by the harsh environment and extreme poverty they faced. At the age of just eight or nine taking on the responsibility of caring for brothers and sisters there was simply no time for being a child anymore.”

Harry may be depicted as this wild, partying royal but all you have to do is look at how he interacts with children to know he’s sweet and compassionate and loving. Harry truly is Diana’s son and the work he has continued to do in her name is a beautiful thing.