Rory Stewart attends Prince Harry event about clearing mines from Angola

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PRINCE HARRY has attended a discussion at Chatham House about mine clearance in the African country visited by his mother Princess Diana – a few months before her death in 1997.

Prince Harry clears Angolan landmines in 2013 charity work

Princess Diana famously walked through a minefield cleared by the Halo Trust in Angola to highlight the plight of those impacted by military munitions. But the Princess of Wales was never able to see her work to help outlaw landmines come to fruition, as she died before the international treaty to ban the military weapons was signed in 1997. Prince Harry joined a panel of experts in central London taking part in the Chatham House Africa Programme seminar, Connecting Conservation, Sustainable Development and Mine Action, staged in partnership with the Halo Trust.

International Development Secretary and Tory leadership contender Rory Stewart also briefly attended the event, although he quickly slipped out before he could be questioned by journalists. 

Mr Stewart used to tutor Prince Harry and his brother Prince William while he was a history student at Oxford University. 

Prince Harry and others present at the seminar heard a call to action from the Angolan Environment Minister Paula Coelho.

Angola has several important remaining wildernesses, including the tributary system for the Okavango Delta.

But the presence of landmines and the remnants of the civil warmean large areas of the African country are unsafe for animals and local people, with their livelihoods dependent on the natural environment.

Harry gave his backing to a £47million lanndmine clearing iniative to help rid Angloa of the deadly military munitions.

Prince Harry will take on the work Princess Diana never got to finish Image GETTY
Prince Harry will take on the work Princess Diana never got to finish Image GETTY

Prince Harry will take on the work Princess Diana never got to finish (Image: GETTY)

He said Angola’s remaining wildernesses was “an asset that should be protected, celebrated and benefited by its people”.

The south-west African country’s Environment Minister Paula Coelho pledged £47 million to fund the work of The Halo Trust. 

The funds will used to clear 153 minefields in a vast conservation area of Angola, a savannah area that is home to key waterways that flow into then Okavango Delta, in nearby Botswana.

Speaking at the event, Harry said: “This unique ecosystem is one of the great wildlife refuges of the world – enriching its biodiversity for all of humanity.

“My hope is that through this collaboration, minefields can be cleared, land can be protected, wildlife can be free to return to where they once roamed, and Angolans can reap the rewards by co-existing with the one constant that will draw people in from all over the world – the extraordinary setting that they call home.”

Princess Diana famously visited Angola in just months before her death Image GETTY
Princess Diana famously visited Angola in just months before her death Image GETTY

Princess Diana famously visited Angola in 1997, just months before her death (Image: GETTY)

Harry visited Angola in 2014 to support work to clear landmines, championing the efforts of his mother.

The Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan Markle are planning a trip to Africa in order to fulfil Princess Diana’s legacy.

They will travel to Angola in the Autumn as part of their Africa tour and will work closely with the charity close to his mother’s heart, The Halo Trust.

Commenting on Diana’s influence on her youngest son, a source told the Mirror: “This is all about wanting to fulfil his mother’s legacy and showing his wife and baby son the places that have had the most positive affect on him in his life.

“Harry has made no secret of what an influence his mother has been on him.

Prince Harry makes a speech during a Chatham House Africa Programme event Image PA
Prince Harry makes a speech during a Chatham House Africa Programme event Image PA

Prince Harry makes a speech during a Chatham House Africa Programme event (Image: PA)

“His trip to Africa comes at a time in his life where he has become a parent himself.

“Diana had a great affinity with children and recognised the worth of having boots on the ground could affect change in such an important way.”

Speaking on International Mine Awareness Day in 2017, Harry had spoken of his mother’s work on banning landmines in the last months of her life.

Harry added: “Some believed she had stepped over the line into the arena of political campaigning – but for her this wasn’t about politics; it was about people.

“She knew she had a big spotlight to shine, and she used it to bring attention on the people that others had forgotten, ignored or were too afraid to support.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK