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Prince Harry makes a surprise visit to Chelsea Flower Show to see his charity Sentebale's garden

May 17, 2013
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Workers at the Chelsea Flower Show could have been forgiven for not paying much attention to the young man standing around the Sentebale garden display on Friday morning — certainly many would have been surprised to learn that Prince Harry was in their midst. Wearing a high-visibility jacket and with a baseball cap pulled down over his face, the royal made a private and unannounced visit to see his charity's garden being prepared for the show.

Prince Harry© Photo: PA

Harry's visit was totally unexpected. While it was thought he would attend the world-famous horticulture event when it opens next week, the busy Prince has only just touched down on British soil following his successful six-day tour of the US. It's a clear sign of just how committed he is to Sentebale. Harry founded the charity in 2006 with his friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to help vulnerable children in the small African kingdom, where he spent part of his gap year. 

The name Sentebale means 'Forget Me Not' in Sesotho, and was chosen "as a memorial to the charity work of our own mothers, as well as a reminder to us all not to forget Lesotho or its children", Harry has said. The hands-on royal spent several minutes talking to the designer of the garden, Jinny Blom. He also looked around the M&G Centenary Garden, which celebrates 100 years of the Chelsea Flower Show

Harry is said to have had a big input in the creation of the Sentebale display, even looking at designs while working with the RAF in Afghanistan, according to the Telegraph. Jinny recently revealed that the garden is not only intended to reflect the Lesotho landscape, it also pays tribute to Harry's late mother, Princess Diana

She told the Radio Times that a pattern of "heart and crowns" will be engraved on a circular terrace in the garden, which will act as a memorial to the princess. "One thing that's important in life is shelter and a home. Harry is someone who has lost those parental arms that we all need round us," she said. "He knows all about it, of course, that kids deserve to be loved and picked up."

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