Prince Harry may have had a very different life to 15-year-old Mutsu Potsane, but he says he can understand some what his friend has gone through.
Mutsu lost both his parents to AIDS in Lesotho, a country where 23 per cent of the population are living with HIV. He first met the boy when he was just four and was deeply moved by his story and spirit.
Together they planted a peach tree and formed a lasting bond.
Prince Harry first met 4-year-old Mutsu Potsane at Mants'ane children's home for orphans in 2004 (left). The little boy was very vulnerable and needed a lot of care and attention. It was in Lesotho in 2004 that Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso decided to start a charity to provide long term support to the most desperate children in Lesotho – the charity was named Sentebale. Mutsu and Prince Harry have formed a close friendship since their first meeting, and Mutsu writes to the Prince often to let him know how he is getting on with the help of Sentebale. They are pictured here (right) during their last reunion in 2014. #PrinceHarry #Sentebale #LesothosChildren
Yesterday, Prince Harry was in Lesotho again for the opening of a dining room in the Mamohato Children’s Centre that he helped set up. He and Mutsu embraced warmly then hung out together as they toured the facility with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho.
— People magazine (@people) November 26, 2015
In a speech, Harry said that while he had lived a vastly different life from Mutsu and other orphans in Lesotho, “nonetheless, we shared a similar feeling of loss, having a loved one, in my case a parent, snatched away so suddenly. I, like them, knew there would always be a gaping hole that could never be filled.”
Remembering when Mutsu and Prince Harry first met, Kensington Palace released this letter written by the young African updating him about his exams and remembering the time they first met.
“I feel very happily when I dream I remember about you because you have being with me from my childhood and you have bought me the blue gumboots,” it says.
Today Prince Harry will be reunited again with Mutsu at the official opening of Sentebale's Mamohato Children's centre in #Lesotho. To mark the special occasion, we're releasing this letter from Mutsu to Prince Harry, sent last year. The hope is that the new Mamohato Children's centre will help many other #Lesotho children, like Mutsu.
The dining room at the centre is named the Diana, Prince of Wales Hall.
Are you proud to see Prince Harry carrying on his mother’s work? Does it surprise you that he has maintained a friendship with this young African boy?