Following in Diana's footsteps: Prince Harry walks a minefield in Angola

27 September 2019 - 11:31 By Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Marie-Louise Gumuchian
The late Diana, Princess of Wales, visiting a landmine site being cleared by the HALO Trust in Angola in 1997, and Prince Harry doing the same in 2019.
The late Diana, Princess of Wales, visiting a landmine site being cleared by the HALO Trust in Angola in 1997, and Prince Harry doing the same in 2019.
Image: Anwar Hussein and Dominic Lipinski - Pool; both via Getty Images

Prince Harry wore a protective vest and visor at a de-mining project in Angola on Friday, and photographs of his visit echoed a famous series of images taken of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, more than 20 years ago.

Queen Elizabeth's grandson, who is sixth in line to the British throne, visited a de-mining field outside Dirico, a town in Angola's Cuando Cubango province, where, wearing a safety vest, he remotely detonated a mine in a controlled explosion. He also met community members.

"This minefield here in Luengue-Luiana National Park is the first of 153 that will be cleared in the two national parks of South Eastern Angola," Harry said in a speech.

The Angolan government has pledged $60m to the initiative, with British charity the HALO Trust carrying out the work.

Prince Harry with Jose Antonio (centre) of the HALO Trust and a mine clearance worker in Dirico on September 27 2019 in Angola.
Prince Harry with Jose Antonio (centre) of the HALO Trust and a mine clearance worker in Dirico on September 27 2019 in Angola.
Image: Dominic Lipinski - Pool /Getty Images

"Later today I will visit Huambo to see the place where my mother walked through a minefield in 1997. Once heavily mined, the second city of Angola is now safe," Harry added.

The pictures of Diana wearing protective gear as she walked among red skull-and-crossbone signs in Huambo won publicity for the HALO Trust, which was clearing mines left during Angola's civil war.

They were taken a few months before her death in Paris in a car crash.

Princess Diana takes part in the HALO Trust mine clearing work in 1997 in Angola.
THEN Princess Diana takes part in the HALO Trust mine clearing work in 1997 in Angola.
Image: Anwar Hussein/WireImage
Prince Harry walks through a minefield in Dirico during a visit to see the work of landmine clearance charity the HALO Trust, on September 27 2019 in Angola.
NOW Prince Harry walks through a minefield in Dirico during a visit to see the work of landmine clearance charity the HALO Trust, on September 27 2019 in Angola.
Image: Dominic Lipinski - Pool /Getty Images

Harry's visit to Angola is part of a southern African trip by him, his wife Meghan and their four-month-old son Archie. Their first overseas tour as a family began in Cape Town on Monday.

They drew crowds of well-wishers on their first three days in the Mother City, where they visited non-governmental organisations working with vulnerable communities and young people and met Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu.

While Meghan and Archie stayed in South Africa, Harry headed to Botswana on Thursday.

In June, he threw his weight behind mine clearance efforts in Angola, saying land mines were "a humanitarian issue and not a political one."

The landmines were planted during Angola's 27-year civil war, which ended in 2002. Many people remain displaced and thousands have been left with disabilities from landmines which continue to maim and kill.

Harry, 35, has been visiting southern Africa for two decades for holidays and conservation work.

He ends the solo section of his tour on Tuesday in Malawi, where he will meet President Peter Mutharika and pay tribute at the memorial site for British soldier Guardsman Mathew Talbot, who was killed in May while taking part in counter poaching operations in the country.

Harry will then rejoin Meghan and Archie in Johannesburg for a township visit on Wednesday. They will meet Graca Machel, widow of Nelson Mandela, and President Cyril Ramaphosa before departing for London. - Reuters


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