On Saturday, May 19, 2018, the world was treated to the sumptuous royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. On display was the romantic side of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, but not many people know the other aspects of the lives of the duo.
Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding was the biggest wedding so far of 2018! Prince Harry might have wedded his heartthrob, Meghan, this article highlights his and his wife’s links to environmental and social issues.
A few years ago, Prince Harry was a renowned heavy party goer. But all that seemed to have changed over the years as he transformed to committing more time to social issues, royal activism, philanthropy and community service. Some have linked his transformation to his new found love, Megan, while some others simply said he’s only grown up. Whatever the reason was, what is undisputable are the impacts of Prince Harry’s service for social good.
Prince Harry served two tours with the Royal British Army in hotspots in Afghanistan, including at the forefront of the war against insurgents. He is also involved in the fight against the HIV/AIDS scourge in developing countries, a project which his late mum, Princess Diana has earlier started before her death. In 2014, Prince Harry founded the Invictus Games; which in Latin means “Unconquered”. The Invictus Games is “an international adaptive multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans who have dedicated their lives to their countries, take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing.”
Following his gap year to Lesotho in 2004, Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso founded Sentebale in 2006. Sentebale is a charity which helps “the most vulnerable children in Lesotho and Botswana get the support they need to lead healthy and productive lives”. According to its website, Sentebale supports the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana, and “works with local grassroots organisations to help these children – the victims of extreme poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
Earlier in 2009, Prince Harry joined his brother Prince William to found The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry which “focuses on empowering disadvantaged adolescents, promoting global environmental sustainability and providing welfare to members of the Armed Forces and their families”.
Prince Harry is also a big supporter of a clean and healthy environment. Back in February 2018 when Prince Charles hosted an International Sustainability Unit’s meeting in London to celebrate the 2018 International Year of the Reef in London, an event which brought together various organizations working on improving coral reef health, Prince Harry was one of those on hand to give support for the program.
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Harry was also recently named to a new Commonwealth position as Youth Ambassador through which he hopes to “highlight and support the work and aspirations” of young people in Commonwealth countries.
In the lead up to their recently consummated wedding, Prince Harry and Meghan released a list of seven charities which they asked well-wishers wishing to celebrate their wedding to donate to. Amongst the selected charities are two involved in environmental issues: The Wilderness Foundation UK, and Surfers against Sewage. The others include: The Myna Mahila Foundation, Crisis, The Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA), Scotty’s Little Soldiers and StreetGames
In 2017, Prince Harry was appointed African Parks’ president. In his newcapacity, he joins his brother to continue to support strategies for the survival of elephants through the Tusk Trust and other international wildlife initiatives. Worried about the increasing loss of African elephants and rhinos to illegal poaching which has seen the number greatly decimated in the past few years, Prince Harry was quoted to have said “There will be no wild African elephants or rhinos left by the time children born this year, like my niece, Charlotte, turn 25.
“African Parks is a conservation NGO‚ founded in 2000‚ that manages national parks and protected areas on behalf of governments and in collaboration with local communities across Africa. With 13 parks under management‚ they say they have the largest area under conservation for any one NGO on the African continent.”
But it is not only Prince Harry that puts his money where his heart is when it comes to issues of the environment, his wife, Duchess Meghan is also hugely involved in various green initiatives. Apart from her work in women advocacy and gender equality, Meghan is an ambassador for Canada’s World Vision Clean Water campaign.
- Idowu Kunlere
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