Britain’s Prince Harry donned protective gear to scour an old Angola minefield Friday — recreating a scene made famous by his mother, Princess Diana of Wales, more than two decades ago.
The Duke of Sussex said he wanted to honor his late mother by working with landmine sweeping charity HALO, just as she’d done a few months before her death in Paris in 1997.
Princess Diana’s walk through the minefield opened the eyes of the world to the crisis of old landmines creating danger in war-torn Angola.
Following in the footsteps of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, The Duke of Sussex joined @TheHALOTrust this morning in their work to clear an area of landmines in Dirico #RoyalVisitAngola
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“The results we have now is because of Diana’s input,” HALO Angola Operations Manager Valdemar Goncalves Fernandes told CNN. “We don’t produce ammunition and mines in Angola.”
Fernandes said he remembers watching Diana’s 1997 visit on television and said Harry’s appearance came as a “great surprise.”
Prince Harry’s retracing his mother’s visit was a “particularly significant and poignant journey,” his private secretary said.
HALO said the crusade to rid Angolan fields of mines gained momentum after Princess Diana left.
Prince Harry was also set to visit the Huambo Orthopedic Center, where his mother visited child victims of landmine accidents. Photos showing Princess Diana with child amputees brought renewed attention to the dangers of landmines.
“We started to think that the princess would be extremely well-dressed [and that] she would be wearing a crown,” clinic worker Felisberto Cambonguele said, adding that she was “the most loving person.”
More than a million people died during Angola’s civil war between 1975 and 2002 and forced 4 million to flee their homes. Many of the displaced have been able to return now that the mines have been cleared. New mines, however, are still being found.