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A speech by Prince Harry at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Published 3 December 2015

I am sure Madiba would be pleased to see such great work being carried in his name, giving inspiration to so many.

The Duke of Sussex

Good evening,

I would like to thank Madam Machel - Graca - for inviting me to join you all this evening. It is a great pleasure for me to be here at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, in the company of those who knew him best, to remember Madiba.

It is not for me to try and put into words the impact that President Mandela had on South Africa, or a generation across the globe - those far more eloquent than I have already done so. However, I was fortunate enough to meet Madiba a number of years ago and I have treasured that memory ever since.

Although I have been to South Africa many times, this is my first Official Tour on behalf of The Queen. I have been keen to see how Mr. Mandela’s values and his legacy are inspiring the next generation and shaping the future for South Africa.

I have visited a number of fantastic organisations over the last four days, supporting some of the most disadvantaged young people across the country. These organisations, although very different, are united in ambition; to unlock the huge talent amongst youth in South Africa regardless of background or circumstances and crucially on World Aids Day, the status of their health.

These organisations, which include the Nelson Mandela Foundation, are empowering the next generation of engaged South African citizens. This innovative centre of memory opens up history to help guide the future. I am sure Madiba would be pleased to see such great work being carried in his name, giving inspiration to so many.

I know that President Mandela worked tirelessly to protect everything that is special about this beautiful country for all future generations. To that end, I was pleased on this trip to lend my support to the conservationists who are fighting to protect South Africa’s natural heritage, especially its critically endangered animals. Much of this work is a burden that South Africa bears on behalf of the entire world, and there is gathering momentum to support you in this urgent task. I was pleased to be able to discuss this with President Zuma this morning and share my hopes for the future.

I can think of no better way of ending my visit to South Africa than by joining you this evening to remember Madiba as we approach the anniversary of his passing. I know he is missed by a generation, a nation and most keenly by his family. However, he will never be forgotten.

I would like to end by thanking all the South Africans I have met over the last few days for their warm welcome and hospitality. I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you.