Royalty and statesmen

The soldier prince on an earlier visit to the Lesotho orphanage. This summer, Harry and members of his Blues and Royals regiment will help build new care facilities for the children in conjunction with a charitable organisation he set up to honour Princess Diana
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Prince Harry to join regimental charity mission to Africa

29 MAY 2008
There will be a chance for Prince Harry to combine his love of soldiering with his enthusiasm for charity work this summer when he takes members of his Blue and Royals regiment to Africa to work for an organisation he set up to help children who've lost their parents to the AIDS epidemic.

The team will take part in a three-week expedition to Lesotho in southern Africa, where they will build care facilities for the children and help repair the centre's buildings. It will be Harry's first overseas posting since he served on the front line in Afghanistan this year.

It's understood the 23-year-old royal put forward the idea to the military chiefs and has helped to arrange sponsorship to provide vehicles for the deployment.

While the deployment of troops to aid Harry's charity has caused questions to be raised in some corners, a senior military source insists: "Adventure training is a key part of military life and is routinely funded from public and non-public sources." And he was at pains to point out that "Lieutenant Wales is treated the same as any other member of the Armed Forces". Sources close to the Prince - who is on leave at the moment - say he is "very excited" about the opportunity and extremely keen to get back to work with his fellow soldiers on such a worthy project.

Harry first visited Lesotho in 2004 during his gap year and was moved by the plight of the young AIDS victims he met. Joining forces with the kingdom's Prince Seeiso, he set up the charity Sentebale - which means 'forget me not' in the local language - in memory of his mother Princess Diana, who did much to raise awareness of the AIDS problem in the country.