Britain’s Duke of Sussex has made “a particularly significant and poignant journey” during his 10-day tour of southern Africa, when he honored his mother’s legacy on Friday by returning to the exact site of his mother’s famous minefield walk.
With the world’s media looking on, Harry slowly walked down the street which was the site of the Angolan minefield Princess Diana visited in 1997. At one point, the duke walked over to a tree, the only thing that remains from the original site. There, he paused for a moment of reflection.
“It’s been quite emotional retracing my mother’s steps along this street 22 years on … and to see the transformation that has taken place from an unsafe and desolate area into a vibrant community of local businesses and colleges,” Harry told the de-miners, local residents, school children and media assembled in what is now known as “Princess Diana street.”
Admired for her humanitarian work, Princess Diana championed the issue of landmine clearance when she visited the country’s second city of Huambo 22 years ago with The HALO Trust. The city was one of Angola’s fiercest battlegrounds during the country’s 27-year civil war — its land contaminated with the weapons.
Photographs from 1997 of Diana wearing protective gear as she was escorted through a cleared lane in the live minefield and comforting child amputees sparked global efforts to end the production and use of the weapons. She died only a few months before an international treaty prohibiting landmines was drafted and signed.