Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson and the third in line to Britain’s throne, said he will become a patron of the landmine-clearance charity made famous by his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
Just seven months before her death in 1997, Diana visited Angola to campaign for the banning of land mines, supporting the British charity Halo, which campaigns for mine clearance around the world. Photographs of her wearing body armor and a protective visor raised the profile of the topic worldwide.
“Prince Harry has had a longstanding connection with the charity and visited minefields in Tete Province, Mozambique, in 2010 where he met amputees, and saw for himself the devastating impact that landmines have on some of the poorest people in mine-affected communities,” the prince’s office said in an e-mailed statement today. “During his trip to Mozambique he was shown the painstaking process of humanitarian demining.”
The prince, 28, who returned from active service for the U.K. army in Afghanistan in January, will also become a patron of the Rugby Football All Schools Program, an initiative to get more state-funded high schools playing rugby union, his office said. He’s been increasing his charity work recently, moving away from an earlier image as a serial partygoer.
Harry, the second son of Prince Charles, made tabloid headlines when younger, clashing with paparazzi photographers outside nightclubs in 2004 and turning up at a costume affair in a Nazi uniform. Pictures from that event drew condemnation from politicians inside and outside Britain.
During interviews to mark his return from Afghanistan this year, the prince criticized media reporting of the royal family, dubbing it “rubbish.” The prince said he had “let himself and his family down” when in August last year a U.S. website published photographs of him naked with friends in a Las Vegas hotel room. Harry was pictured wearing only a medallion and a wristband, with a naked woman in each shot.