KATHMANDU, Nepal – Britain’s Prince Harry hopes his visit to Nepal will shine a spotlight on the “resolve and resilience of the Nepalese people” still recovering from a devastating earthquake.
Harry said he was delighted to be asked to visit a country which has captured the imagination of himself and many fellow Brits, during a Nepalese government reception.
Speaking at the event, staged at the aptly named Yak and Yeti hotel in the capital Kathmandu, the royal told the guests: “Like so many people back home, I have grown up seeing beautiful images of Nepal in books and on television.
“I am sure you hear this all the time, but your country holds a special place in the imagination for so many people around the world.”
Harry has long-wanted to visit the country largely due to his admiration and respect for the Gurkha troops he served with in Afghanistan.
He is also keen to see how the country’s rebuilding effort is progressing following the earthquake and aftershocks in April last year which killed almost 9,000 people and damaged almost a million houses and buildings.
The prince said: “I also know that I arrive here in Nepal as you approach the first anniversary of the earthquakes that took so many lives and that you are working to recover from.
“I pay my respects to those who perished and hope to do what I can to shine a spotlight on the resolve and resilience of the Nepalese people.
“I want to show all those people around the world who want to help that this is a country open for business – so please come and visit again.
“I look forward to exploring your landscapes, celebrating your culture, and I hope to make many new friends along the way.”
Harry began his tour by paying a visit to Nepal’s prime minister and giving him a traditional nameste greeting.
Clasping his hands together and smiling, Harry performed the gesture well known across Nepal and neighboring India, and his actions were mirrored by Khadga Prasad Oli – known as KP Oli.
It is an ancient Sanskrit greeting which has a number of translations, including ”the spirit in me salutes the spirit in you”.