PRINCE Harry followed in his mum Diana’s footsteps today as he walked down the same road she once did 22 years ago.
The Duke of Sussex will rename a hospital after Princess Diana after she visited Angola just months before her tragic death in 1997.
The Princess of Wales had made headlines after visiting the minefield in Huambo in Angola to raise awareness for the problem of mines in the country – just months before her death in a tragic car crash in Paris.
And thanks to her work, the road – now known as Princess Diana’s Street – has become a bustling centre for families.
Cheering crowds today gathered along the street to welcome Prince Harry.
Earlier, the royal had echoed his mother’s trip by walking between minefield warning signs in Dirico before remotely detonating a minefield.
Prince Harry today looked pensive as he donned body armour and a protective visor as he visited the de-mining site in Dirico, Angola.
He then helped to remotely detonate a landmine, again echoing his mother’s own visit 22 years ago.
It is a “particularly significant” event for the 35-year-old royal, who is currently on a ten-day tour of Africa with wife Meghan Markle, 38, and four-month-old Archie.
He today praised his mother’s visit that “helped change the course of history” on social media as he helped to detonate a landmine.
In the Instagram post shared this morning, Sussex Royal wrote: “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.”
Speaking at the landmine site, he praised the efforts of the Halo Trust, which works to clear landmines and other explosives in countries recovering from war.
He said: “Landmines are an unhealed scar of war. By clearing the landmines we can help this community find peace, and with peace comes opportunity,
“Additionally, we can protect the diverse and unique wildlife that relies on the beautiful Kuito river that I slept beside last night.
“That river and those wildlife are your natural assets and, if looked after, will bring you unlimited opportunities in the conservation-led economy.”
The royal appeared to be in good spirits for the visit as he danced with some locals as he arrived in Angola – later unveiling the three-country Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project for the Okavango Delta.
Prince Harry will later travel to Huambo where he will rename the Orthopaedic Centre after Princess Diana.
Speaking before the event, Sam Cohen, Harry’s private secretary, said: “In a particularly significant and poignant journey, the Duke of Sussex will have the opportunity to return to Angola to see first-hand the legacy of his mother.”
It was earlier revealed he wouldn’t be able to walk the same route as his mother once did in the iconic photo, as the area is now a street filled with shops and schools thanks to Diana.
HALO Angola’s Operations Manager Valdemar Goncalves Fernandes told CNN: “The results we have now is because of Diana’s input. She made the donors aware that the international community is also part of this problem and that they could help.”
ANGOLA MINEFIELD CRISIS: More to be done
IT’S been 20 years since Princess Diana famously walked through a minefield in Angola to raise awareness of the brutal and inhumane weapons – and today the site is unrecognisable.
The minefield where the Princess made the bold and courageous move is now a thriving community, with homes, a carpentry workshop, a small college and a school.
But there is still much to be done, with mines continuing to kill and maim innocent people in Angola, after their 27-year civil war ended in 2002.
Mines and unexploded devices are still harming civilians and hindering development in Angola and 63 other countries and territories around the world, says The Halo Trust.
The British charity rose to global prominence when it arranged Princess Diana’s visit to Huambo in Angola – and with it, raised the profile of the plight of thousands of landmine victims.
Halo was in the process of clearing the minefield when Diana made her famous walk across it on January 15, 1997.
Since then, Halo has destroyed more than 100,000 landmines, 800 minefields and 162,000 shells, missiles and bombs in the southern African country.
Most of its cities have been cleared, but rural areas remain heavily mined and 40% of the population lives in the countryside.
There are 630 minefields in the eight provinces where Halo works, and the trust estimates there are more than 1000 minefields remaining across Angola in total.
A HELPING HAND
Princess Diana’s focus on the region, and images of her comforting child amputees injured in explosions sparked global efforts to end the production and use of the weapons.
But she tragically died just a few months before the international treaty prohibiting landmines was drafted and signed.
It comes after Prince Harry yesterday revealed how Africa had helped him in the months after Diana’s death in 1997.
Speaking at the Chobe Forest Tree reserve, the new dad said: “Fifteen years I’ve been coming here, it’s a sense of escapism, a real sense of purpose.
“I have some of my closest friends here and I came here in 1997 or 1998 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.”
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Harry and Meghan have so far used their family tour of Africa to raise awareness for female entrepreneurs and charities supporting people with HIV.
And royal fans were left delighted as the couple showed off baby Archie as they visited Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The seventh-in-line to the throne – who appeared to have tell-tale signs of his dad’s red hair – posed with the man they call “The Arch” with proud mum and dad.
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