Prince Harry has ensured that parts of the new Mamohato Children’s Centre in Lesotho will honour both his late mother Princess Diana and his childhood nanny, Olga Powell, by bearing their names.
The centre will provide emotional and psychological care for children affected by HIV/AIDS in the poverty-stricken country and is part of the larger work being undertaken by Harry’s charity Sentebale. He co-founded the organisation in 2004 along with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, in memory of their mothers.
Prince Harry was closely involved in the planning of the centre and had several discussions with Sentebale CEO Cathy Ferrier about naming the buildings in honour of the two women who had helped shape his life. According to Ms Ferrier, he even had a hand in designing the centre's exterior as it was his drawing they sent to the architect.
“The new centre will provide a facility which underpins all of Sentebale’s work supporting vulnerable children in the country and allows them to significantly increase the number of children it can reach,” said the palace in a statement.
Diana’s memory will live on in the dining hall of the institution, which was selected because it is where the children at the centre will come together.
“The centre is named after Seeiso’s mother but we felt it was right to acknowledge Harry’s mother as well, so we decided that the dining hall was the appropriate place,” Ms Ferrier told The Daily Mail.
“It’s the place where all the children will gather three times a day and do plays and drama as well, so it felt like the right kind of place.”
The centre also boasts the Olga Powell Welcome Centre as a nod to the widowed nanny who came to work at Kensington Palace in 1982, before Harry was even born. She was said to have treated the young princes as if they were her own grandchildren, and remained a steady source of support during the tumultuous years that followed until her death in 2012 at the age of 82.
“When she sadly died and they had the funeral, instead of having flowers and gifts she asked if they would donate all the money from the funeral to Sentebale,” Ms Ferrier said.
‘She knew Harry cares hugely about it and so she cared about it too.”
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