Prince Harry gave a powerful speech as he attended the opening of Sentebale's Mamohato Children's Centre on Thursday afternoon. The Prince said that meeting children whose "lives had been shattered" by extreme poverty, illness and loss when he first visited Lesotho in 2004 put his own feelings of grief into perspective following the death of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
"Although our situations couldn't have been more different, I felt an overwhelming connection to many of the children I met," Harry said. "They were far younger than me, and of course, their situation was a great deal more challenging than my own Nonetheless, we shared a similar feeling of loss, having a loved one, in my case a parent, snatched away so suddenly."
Prince Harry gave a speech at the opening of Mamohato Children's Centre
He continued: "I, like them, knew there would always be a gaping hole that could never be filled."
The Prince explained that his experiences in Lesotho had inspired him to launch Sentebale along with his friend Prince Seeiso, in memory of their late mothers. The charity has now been running for ten years and helped thousands of vulnerable children to get the support they need to lead happy and healthy lives.
There is one child in particular that Harry has struck up a close relationship with over the last decade – Mutsu Potsane – a 14-year-old who first met the prince when he was just four. The pair have met on many of Harry's visits to Lesotho, and were reunited on Thursday afternoon at the opening of the residential children's centre.
Lesotho's Prince Seeiso revealed that Harry had been "delighted" to see Mutsu again at the event.
Harry was reunited with 14-year-old Mutsu Potsane
"Mutsu was very happy too but he was a bit shy and a bit intimidated," Prince Seeiso explained. "He told Harry he was doing fine at school. Harry asked him if he had passed his exam and he says, 'I think so'."
Meanwhile the teenager was equally happy to see Prince Harry again. Speaking partly in English and partly through a Sesotho interpreter, Mutsu said: "I felt very happy, very excited. I'm very comfortable around Harry, he is very comfortable around me. We click."
The 14-year-old added that as well as taking his hat, Harry had teased him about how big he was getting. "He said to me I've grown up," Mutsu said.
Harry is on a week-long tour of Lesotho and South Africa. HELLO!'s royal correspondent Emily Nash will be joining the Prince every step of the way, and will share all of the details and regular updates in a travel diary on HELLO! Online.