Prince Harry was welcomed to Nepal on Saturday, March 19, where he spoke at the nation’s capital, Kathmandu, to kick off his five-day visit. The royal prince also paid tribute to his late mother, Princess Diana, before meeting with several homeless families who were displaced by devastating earthquakes last year.
“I’m sure you hear this all the time, but your country holds a special place in the imagination for so many people,” he said at the government reception in Kathmandu, according to CNN. “I pay my respects to those who perished and hope to do what I can to shine a spotlight on the resilience of the Nepali people.”
The view Prince Harry will have flying into Kathmandu to start his official tour of Nepal today. On his first visit to the country, Prince Harry will show his solidarity with the Nepali people still recovering from the devastating earthquakes last year, see the stunning natural beauty of the country and pay a personal tribute to the Gurkhas, whom he served alongside in Afghanistan.
Prince Harry also briefly spoke of Princess Diana, who visited the Himalayan country in 1993, shortly after her separation from Prince Charles. He hinted that he plans to follow in her footsteps during his visit.
“I am honored and excited to be here,” he told the Nepali people, according to The Telegraph. “Many members of my family have visited Nepal, including my father and my mother, who were both warmly welcomed.”
He continued, “For me, this trip is also personal. I am so grateful that I will have the opportunity to pay tribute to some of Nepal’s most famous ambassadors, the Gurkhas, admired the world over for their fearsome bravery and courage, but also for their humility and kindness.”
During his speech, the prince spoke Nepali at times, beginning and ending with namaste (hello) and dhanyabad (thank you).
Prince Harry gives a traditional Namaste welcome at a reception hosted by the Government of Nepal in Kathmandu. He told the guests: "I know that I arrive in Nepal as you approach the first anniversary of the earthquakes that took so many lives. I pay my respects to those who perished and hope to do what I can to shine a spotlight on the reserve and resilience of the Nepali people. I want to show all those around the world who want to help that this country is open for business. I can't wait to get out there and see all this country has to offer."
Prince Harry visited Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site with an ancient royal palace and temples that were damaged by the April 2015 earthquake, on Sunday, March 20. There, he acted as an apprentice, using traditional tools to try his hand at restoring wood carvings.
He also visited the Golden Temple and a campsite that shelters approximately 250 homeless people (a quarter of them children). He was guided through the site by Purushottam Suwal, 15, according to Kensington Palace’s Twitter page.
At a camp for families whose homes were destroyed by the earthquakes. The guide is 15 year old Purushottam Suwal pic.twitter.com/mMItNjz57U— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 20, 2016
“Prince Harry is really looking forward to his first trip to Nepal,” a Kensington Palace spokesperson said in a statement in February. “It is a country he has long wanted to visit. He has been moved by the stories of resilience of the Nepali people following the earthquakes last year and is now eager to learn more about their country and culture. With Britain and Nepal currently celebrating 200 years of cooperation, Prince Harry will experience the strength of the relationship and traditional warmth of the Nepali welcome.”
This is Purushottam Suwal showing Prince Harry around Byasi Earthquake camp in Bhaktapur. He is 15 years old and is chairman of the site's management committee. He has lived in the temporary camp with his family and 250 other people for almost a year. He was made chairman because he took such an active role in helping his community in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. He epitomises the resolve and resilience of the Nepali people that Prince Harry spoke about on arrival in the country yesterday. #HarryInNepal
Thanks to everyone for coming out to make Prince Harry feel so welcome in Kathmandu pic.twitter.com/PRm3y5Tdap— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 20, 2016
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