Rugged and handsome, Prince Harry brings his Royal flair to the cover of Town & Country, opening up about his work with African Parks for their 500 Elephants relocation project.
And it turns out the continent has deep-meaning to the Prince, who explains how visiting Africa helped him deal with his mother Princess Diana’s death. “I first came in 1997, straight after my mum died,” he reveals to the magazine. “My dad told my brother and me to pack our bags – we were going to Africa to get away from it all.”
“My brother and I were brought up outdoors. We appreciate nature and everything about it. But it became more… This is where I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world. I wish I could spend more time in Africa. I have this intense sense of complete relaxation and normality here,” he continues.
And it’s not just the scenery, but the people that make Africa so special to Harry: “To not get recognized, to lose myself in the bush with what I would call the most down-to-earth people on the planet, people [dedicated to conservation] with no ulterior motives, no agendas, who would sacrifice everything for the betterment of nature… I talk to them about their jobs, about what they do. And I learn so much.”
Discussing how wildlife can be better preserved, Harry says he believes some sort of governing body is paramount. “Everyone has a different opinion; every country has a different way of doing things,” he says. “But I do believe that we need a regulatory body so that everyone who owns or manages wildlife is subject to inspection and rated on how well they look after the animals and how the communities benefit. I know I’m going to get criticized for this, but we have to come together. You know what Stevie Wonder said: ‘You need teamwork to make the dream work.’ I use that a lot.”
On why the environment means so much to the 32-year-old: “These are very special places, but they are islands with a sea of people around them. I do worry. I think everyone should worry. We need to look after them, because otherwise our children will not have a chance to see what we have seen. This is God’s test: If we can’t save some animals in a wilderness area, what else can’t we do?”