Harry, 35, and wife Meghan Markle visited Homeboy Industries earlier this week to observe how the L.A.-based nonprofit is helping former gang members rebuild their lives and create positive change in their communities. According to royal expert Katie Nicholl, the couple’s recent charity work has major sentimental value for the prince, who lost his mother in a car accident when he was just 12 years old.
“Some people might wonder why Harry is getting so involved with something like Homeboy [Industries], which is such an L.A.-based, centric initiative,” Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight on Thursday, June 25. “But it is a charity. It is an organization for those who are marginalized by society, those who have no hope, those who society simply want to dismiss.”
Before her untimely death, Diana was a dedicated philanthropist whose charitable interests included animal protection, HIV/AIDS research and homelessness. “She was there for those that society just wanted to reject and ignore,” Nicholl explained. “And in that respect, I think Harry and Meghan are really keeping Diana’s memory and her work very much alive in what they are doing today.”
During their day at Homeboy Industries, Harry and the former Suits actress, 38, helped prepare food with bakery and café workers as part of the #FeedHOPE initiative. “They helped bake bread and they helped package all these meals that go to seniors and to foster care youth and folks who are having a difficult time during the pandemic,” the organization’s founder, Father Greg Boyle, told Us Weekly exclusively on Wednesday, June 24. “They really kind of want to make an impact so I give them a lot of credit because their hearts and their minds are, I think, in the right place.”
The royal couple settled down in California with 13-month-old son Archie in March after a brief stay in Canada in the wake of their step down from the royal family. Since moving stateside, Harry and Meghan have been seen giving back to their community in a number of different ways amid the COVID-19 health crisis.
“Harry and Meghan’s No. 1 priority right now is helping those affected by the virus, especially the vulnerable,” an insider explained in April, adding that the duo’s main goal is to help “change lives for the better.”
In the decades since his mother’s death, Harry has spoken openly about the impact she made on his life and how he hopes to honor her through outreach of his own. Though he and his brother, Prince William, have had their ups and downs through the years, they always come together to remember the legacy Diana left behind.
“They always discuss Diana’s charity work and brainstorm ways they can continue her legacy,” an insider told Us in August 2019. “Helping others and being a role model to those less fortunate is at the top of their priority list.”