Prince Harry in Nepal: “Your country holds a special place”

Prince Harry in Nepal, March 16

Prince Harry paid tribute to the resilience of the people of Nepal in recovering from last year’s devastating earthquakes, before visiting destroyed cultural sites on his first visit to the Himalayan nation.

Speaking Saturday in the capital, Kathmandu, at a government reception to mark the start of his five-day visit, the prince told assembled dignitaries he had long wanted to visit the country.

“I’m sure you hear this all the time, but your country holds a special place in the imagination for so many people,” he said.

 He noted his visit was occurring as Nepal was preparing to mark the first anniversary of the April 25 earthquake, which killed more than 8,000 people. An aftershock 17 days later killed more than 200 more.

Harry said he planned to see how locals were recovering from the disaster.

“I pay my respects to those who perished and hope to do what I can to shine a spotlight on the resilience of the Nepali people,” he said.

On Sunday, the prince visited Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring an ancient royal palace and temples that were badly damaged in the quake, to view ongoing efforts to restore one of Nepal’s cultural treasures.

He then visited a temporary camp sheltering about 250 people, a quarter of them children, made homeless by the quake, according to a statement from the royal family. He was given a tour of the site by a teenager who lives there.

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