Prince Harry has maintained a royal link to a cause close to his mother’s heart as he praised a landmark clearance charity for working throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Harry, 37, wrote to the Halo Trust, telling them they were keeping the “light of our common humanity”going.
Diana, Princess of Wales, was a supporter of the charity and made a famous visit to partially cleared Angolan minefield in 1997 to highlight their work.
Harry, Diana’s youngest son, retraced her steps in 2019, making an emotional pilgrimage to the minefield his mother toured in the city of Huambo. It’s now been transformed into a wide residential road, complete with a school.
Harry wrote in his letter: “In these trying times, hope comes from the light of our common humanity. Nowhere is that light burning brighter than at the Halo Trust.
“As countries closed their borders, lockdowns came into force and international travel became harder, many might have chosen to suspend operations. Instead, Halo kept open a presence in all 25 of its country operations.”
Harry also praised the charity for responding to the pandemic and changing and adapting some of its work.
Halo has been providing ambulances and logistics to medical authorities in Zimbabwe, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan and Guinea-Bissau.
In Syria and Burma, the charity has been providing hygiene kits, personal protection equipment and health education to camps for families displaced by conflict.
Harry added: “The fact that you can operate across conflict affected countries like Afghanistan is also a precious resource in the face of a disease that recognises no frontlines.
“It is at times like this that the work and efforts of people like you – prepared to do whatever it takes to help, serve and protect others – shines through. In sometimes hazardous and dangerous situations, your commitment to your communities and people who need your help is remarkable.
“I am hugely proud to be able to support such an extraordinary organisation.”
The letter was shared by the Halo Trust on its website.
James Cowan, Halo’s chief executive officer said: “It is very thoughtful of the Duke to write to HALO staff in this way. Not many people realise we do more than landmine clearance. In responding to Covid we have the skills and equipment to respond. And above all we can operate in some very dangerous places with the trust of the local people.”
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are in lockdown in Los Angeles, where they have chosen to start the next chapter of their lives outside the senior royal roles they had carried out together.
They are living with their son Archie as they plan their next steps, which will include a non-profit organisation called Archewell.