Prince Harry follows in mother Diana’s footsteps on visit to Angola

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Combo picture shows Diana, Princess of Wales walking in one of the safety corridors of the land mine fields of Huambo, Angola January 15, and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, visiting a working de-mining field in Dirico, Angola September 27, 2019. (Reuters)
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A crowd gathers on Princess Diana Street ahead of the arrival of Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, in Huambo, Angola September 27, 2019. (Reuters)
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Britain's Prince Harry walks on Princess Diana Street in Huambo, Angola, on day five of the royal tour of Africa, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. (AP)
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Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, sits alone beneath the Diana Tree on day five of the royal tour of Africa, in Huambo, Angola September 27, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 27 September 2019

Prince Harry follows in mother Diana’s footsteps on visit to Angola

  • Harry visited Huambo, retracing his mother’s steps on a street that was once a path in a dangerous minefield
  • The pictures of Diana wearing protective gear as she walked among red skull-and-crossbone signs in Huambo in January 1997 won publicity for the HALO Trust, which was clearing mines left during Angola’s civil war

JOHANNESBURG: Britain’s Prince Harry followed in his late mother’s footsteps on Friday, wearing a protective vest and visor during a visit to a de-mining project in Angola that echoed a famous series of images taken of Princess Diana more than 20 years ago.
Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and sixth in line to the British throne visited a de-mining field outside Dirico, a town in Angola’s Cuando Cubango province, where, wearing a safety vest, he remotely detonated a mine in a controlled explosion. He also met community members.
Harry then visited Huambo, retracing his mother’s steps on a street that was once a path in a dangerous minefield.
The 35-year-old walked down Princess Diana Street and sat beneath the Diana Tree, the spot where his mother, who campaigned for a global ban on mines, was photographed.
“It has been 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 place into a vibrant community of local businesses and colleges,” Harry said.
“But let us not lose sight of the reality. Twenty two years after my mother visited Angola, there are still more than 1,000 minefields in this beautiful country that remain to be cleared. I wonder if she was still alive whether that would still be the case. I’m pretty sure she would have seen it through.”
The pictures of Diana wearing protective gear as she walked among red skull-and-crossbone signs in Huambo in January 1997 won publicity for the HALO Trust, which was clearing mines left during Angola’s civil war.
They were taken a few months before her death in Paris in a car crash. The international treaty to ban the weapons was signed later the same year.
Harry’s visit to Angola is part of a southern African trip by him, Meghan and their four-month-old son Archie. Their first overseas tour as a family began in South Africa on Monday.
They drew crowds of well-wishers on their first three days in Cape Town, where they visited non-governmental organizations working with vulnerable communities and young people and met Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu.
While Meghan and Archie stayed in South Africa, Harry headed to Botswana on Thursday.
In June, he threw his weight behind mine clearance efforts in Angola, saying land mines were “a humanitarian issue and not a political one.”
The land mines were planted during Angola’s 27-year civil war, which ended in 2002. Many people remain displaced and thousands have been left with disabilities from land mines which continue to maim and kill.
Harry has been visiting southern Africa for two decades for holidays and conservation work.
He ends the solo section of his tour on Tuesday in Malawi, where he will meet President Peter Mutharika and pay tribute at the memorial site for British soldier Guardsman Mathew Talbot, who was killed in May while taking part in counter poaching operations in the country.
Harry will then rejoin Meghan and Archie for a township visit on Wednesday near Johannesburg. They will meet Graca Machel, widow of South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, and President Cyril Ramaphosa before departing for London.


Britain orders 10,000 ventilators from F1, aerospace consortium

Updated 11 min 8 sec ago

Britain orders 10,000 ventilators from F1, aerospace consortium

  • ‘These devices will help to save lives by ensuring that ventilators, a limited resource, are used only for the most severely ill’

LONDON: Britain has ordered more than 10,000 ventilators from a consortium of leading aerospace, engineering and technology companies, with production to begin this week.

The group, including Airbus, BAE Systems, Ford and Formula One racing teams, said it expected to get a very prompt regulatory sign off after the final audit.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made an urgent appeal earlier this month for manufacturers to start making specialist health equipment including ventilators ahead of an expected peak of the coronavirus pandemic that could overwhelm the health service.

Vacuum cleaner company Dyson has said it has also received an order of a newly-made ventilator.

The engineering consortium will accelerate production of an agreed new design, based on existing technologies, which can be assembled from materials and parts in current production.

“This consortium brings together some of the most innovative companies in the world,” Dick Elsy, the head of the consortium said in a statement. “I am confident this consortium has the skills and tools to make a difference and save lives.”