Lesotho: 10 facts about the 'Kingdom in the Sky'

MIRIAM FOLEY

All royal watchers' eyes are on the Kingdom of Lesotho this week, as Prince Harry kicks off a week-long tour of the tiny African country before moving on to South Africa. We got the fact finder out to discover more about the place so close to Harry's heart.

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1. Lesotho is one of only three countries in the world landlocked by a single country, South Africa. It's nestled between the Drakensberg and Maloti mountain ranges and has a population of two million. It's similiar in size to Belgium.

2. It is the only country in the world to lie entirely above 1,000m above the sea level. Its mountainous landscape is where it earns itself the title of "Kingdom in the Sky".

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3. Prince Harry first visited in 2004. Together with the country's Prince Seeiso, he founded the Sentebale charity in memory of both their mothers. On 26 November 2015 Harry opened Mamohato Children's Centre, which will host camps for children struggling to overcome their HIV/Aids diagnosis. The centre has sweeping views over the imposing Thaba Bosiu plateau – sacred as the birthplace of Lesotho as a nation.

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4. The country's traditional Basotho hat, called the mokorotlo, is inspired by its conical Mount Qiloane.

5. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and last year the Lesotho delegation danced in traditional costume and hats in the opening cermoney of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.


6. Lesotho's motto "Khotso, pula, nala" means "peace, rain, prosperity". It is represented in the national flag by the colours white, blue and green respectively.

7. Lesotho is twinned with Wales. In March 1985, Wales and Lesotho establilshed the world's first nation-to-nation twinning, in order to promote friendship and understanding between the people of both nations.

8. It has nearly 100% renewable electricity thanks to the hydroelectric energy provided by the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.

9. The major natural resources of Lesotho are water and diamonds. Lesotho exports mohair, wool, clothing and footwear. It's the largest sub-Saharan African exporter of garments to the United States. One of Levi's jeans manufacturing facilities is located here.

10. Most of the country's landscape is highlands, so to reach the far-flung villages, the most common mode of transport is by horse-back.

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.