During a special address at the United Nations on July 18 for Nelson Mandela On the day the Duke opened up about his love for the continent and the bond he feels for both his wife and his mother, who died Princess Dianawhen he visits Africa.
In his speech, Prince Harry praised Mandela’s work and legacy As he reveals, he has a photo of his mother and the activist on his wall “and in [his] heart every day”. The Duke went on to share that he feels closest to his mother when he visits Africa and that’s where he knows he’s destined to be with Meghan.
“Ever since I first visited Africa at the age of 13, I have always found hope on the continent. In fact, it’s been my lifeline for most of my life, a place where I’ve always found peace and healing,” he said. “It was here that I felt closest to my mother and sought comfort after she passed away and I knew I had found a soul mate in my wife.”
Prince Harry, who has visited Africa both alone and with his wife, appeared to be referring to one of his first dates with Meghan. The duo traveled to Botswana together in the summer of 2016.
Reflecting on the trip shortly after the couple’s engagement, the Duke recalled how he “managed to persuade [Meghan] to come and join me in Botswana”.
“We camped together under the stars. She came and took me out there for five days, which was absolutely amazing. So we were really alone, which for me was crucial to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other,” he said.
Prince Harry and Meghan returned to Botswana in 2017 and Prince Harry later proposed with a ring that included a diamond from the country (as well as diamonds from his mother’s personal collection).
After they got married, so did Prince Harry and Meghan travelled to southern Africa in 2019 for a royal tour that saw the couple visit Malawi, Angola, South Africa and Botswana. During the trip, the couple introduced their then four-month-old son Archie to the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who then gave Prince Harry the photograph of his mother and Mandela.
The late Princess Diana was known for her charitable work and was known to campaign against landmines in Bosnia and Angola. Since her death, Prince Harry has followed in his mother’s footsteps and even reenacted her famous walk through a landmine during his and Meghan’s tour in 2019.