PRINCE HARRY has this week received some tragic news from a cause very close to his own heart.
Prince Harry has always been one for charitable causes, supporting more than 20 organisations and charities in his role. The Duke of Sussex co-founded The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry with his older brother, the Duke of Cambridge, in 2009. The foundation focuses on three points: giving guidance and support to disadvantaged youngsters, building awareness on sustainable development and environmental conservation, and on the welfare of members of the Armed forces and their families. In recent years, Prince Harry also co-founded the charity Sentebale with Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso to help the orphans of Lesotho, Africa.
Africa has always held a special place in the Duke’s heart, having visited on numerous occasions.
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, took a trip to Botswana back in 2017 after having met in person only a handful of times.
Their first trip to Botswana together turned out to be a very memorable one, as it’s where the couple took their first “huge leap” in their relationship – a holiday together – which undoubtedly cemented their union.
During their engagement interview in 2017, the Prince said: “I managed to persuade Meghan to come and join me in Botswana. And we camped out with each other under the stars.
Prince Harry heartbreak: Prince Harry will undoubtedly be sad at the news (Image: Getty)
Prince Harry heartbreak: Meghan and Harry’s first trip as a couple was to Botswana (Image: Getty)
“She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic.”
Botswana is also where Prince Harry sourced one of the diamonds for Meghan’s engagement ring, which was combined with two diamonds from his mother Princess Diana’s personal collection.
In order to integrate with the local people, the Duchess revealed that the couple like to sleep under the stars every time they visit the small African country.
Meghan said: “When we go to Botswana, we grab a backpack and pitch up a tent! It’s not much, but that’s how we like it.”
The Duke recently spoke poignantly about how Botswana became his second home following the death of his mother in 1997.
Prince Harry heartbreak: Harry co-founded the charity Sentebale (Image: Getty)
Speaking in an interview, Prince Harry said: “15 years I’ve been coming here, it’s a sense of escapism, a real sense of purpose.
“I have some of my closest friends here over the years. I came here in 1997 or 1998 straight after my mum died, so it was a nice place to get away from it all. I feel deeply connected to this place and to Africa.”
The couple returned to Botswana in 2018 to help Dr Mike Chase from Elephants without Borders with his conservation work in Africa.
Given his love of the nation and conservation work, the Duke will undoubtedly be heartbroken to hear a vast number of elephants have been found dead in the southern African country.
Prince Harry heartbreak: Prince Harry has been going to Botswana for more than 20 years (Image: Getty)
According to reports, hundreds of elephant carcasses have been found around waterholes.
Dr Niall McCann, director of conservation at UK-based charity National Park Rescue, told the BBC that local conservationists first alerted the Government in May after flying over the Okavongo Delta.
Mr McCann said: “They [conservationists] spotted 169 in a three hour flight. To be able to see and count that many in a three-hour flight was extraordinary.
“A month later, further investigations identified many more carcasses, bringing the total to over 350.
“This is totally unprecedented in terms of number of elephants dying in a single event unrelated to a drought.”
Prince Harry has always held elephants close to his heart, also working with them on another project in nearby Malawi in 2016 where he worked alongside volunteers, vets and experts to re-locate the animals.
The Duke said: “Elephants simply cannot roam freely like they used to without coming into conflict with communities, or being threatened by poaching and persecution.
“There is no question at all that Africa’s wildlife will be increasingly susceptible to growing human populations and their requirements for land.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK