Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Prince Harry in Nepal: Day Four

It started with a sunrise and ended with memories. Day four of Prince Harry's visit to Nepal was a mix of formal and casual, personal and professional. There were garlands, there was volleyball, there was a hint of a royal sixpack. What more can a royal tour offer? And it's not over yet.

Prince Harry is swamped by warm welcomes and garlands as he arrives at Gauda School on day four of his visit to Nepal
(photo @KensingtonRoyal)

Some royal images stay in the mind for a long time and the photo of Harry looking out across the peaceful Himalayas amidst the early morning mists is right up there with them. The prince watched the sun rise in the village of Leorani where he had spent the night at the home of a Gurkha family and was captured in thoughtful mood as the early morning light began to fill the sky.

The photos of Harry trekking through some of the foothills of the Himalayas were pretty special too but if the early morning had been pensive then the party was about to get started, As Harry arrived at Gauda School he almost disappeared beneath the weight of scarves, garlands and flowers he was handed a very warm welcome indeed.  Somewhere beneath the flowers was a prince trying to get out. 

This visit was about tough issues as well as fun. The school was totally destroyed by last year's earthquake but it is being rebuilt by the Gurkha Welfare Trust. Harry heard about the work that has gone on and what is still to be done. And then it was for volleyball. Harry released the school boy we all know lurks inside with this bout of sporting royal action. There was no gentle tapping and then stepping to one side here. Harry got so involved he gave us a glimpse, on more than one occasion, of the royal tummy. No one was complaining.

If he was smiling during the volleyball then the grins got even wider as he joined in with Holi Festival celebrations. The spring festival involves people covering each other in colours and the red haired prince got a good smattering of red on him during this part of his visit.

The afternoon was more formal as Prince Harry, now in uniform, travelled to the British Gurkha Camp at Pokhara for an act of remembrance. He laid a wreath and ended his messages with 'Hardik Sradhanjali' which means 'Heartfelt Condolences'.

Prince Harry during the act of remembrance at Pokhara, Nepal during the fourth day of his visit
(photo KensingtonRoyal Instagram)

Earlier, Prince Harry had met the families of eight Gurkhas killed in Afghanistan. His duties at Pokhara also involved presenting the MBE to Bhaktabahadur Rai for his work bringing safe drinking water to parts of Nepal.

To end a day that had begin in thoughtful mood in the mist, Harry was taken on a trip down memory lane as he met a Gurkha who had given this soldier prince a tour of Salisbury Plain when Prince Charles took him there when Harry was six .Bishnikunr Pur showed Harry a photo of that day and they chatted about the big adventure the prince had had that day.

Harry's tour comes to an end tomorrow when he returns to Kathmandu to help open the Girls Summit there focused on ending forced marriage and increasing women's rights. There is a visit to a technical school in Baktapur to learn more about opportunities for young people before final engagements in Kathmandu.  It will be the final part of a hugely successful tour which will linger in the mists of royal history for years to come.

And there is a special page about Prince Harry's visit to Nepal here.

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