They say parenthood changes how you view the world — and for Prince Harry, that includes how he sees his many royal duties.
We can assume part of the reason the prince decided to step back from royal living was to protect his son Archie from the same kind of childhood Harry had, seeing his beloved mother constantly maligned by the British press.
But leaving the royal family doesn’t mean he’s given up any of his many charitable missions, and fatherhood has clearly affected his work there. As president of African Parks, an organization committed to conservation, the Duke of Sussex expressed viewing his role there in a new light.
In a forward released ahead of the nonprofit’s annual report, Harry praised the organization’s efforts and described himself as “more motivated than ever” to preserve the continent’s wildlife. He wrote:
“Since becoming a father, I feel the pressure is even greater to ensure we can give our children the future they deserve, a future that hasn’t been taken from them, and a future full of possibility and opportunity. I want us all to be able to tell our children that yes, we saw this coming, and with the determination and help from an extraordinary group of committed individuals, we did what was needed to restore these essential ecosystems.”
The 35-year-old connected the ongoing extinction crisis to the current coronavirus crisis, writing that some evidence suggests the pandemic “may be linked to our exploitation of nature.” Addressing challenges the organization faced over the past year, he called the parks “anchors of stability, providing essential services during our most troubling times, including this global pandemic.”
The letter also reiterated Harry’s love and support for the African continent as a whole, which we’ve seen come up again and again for the renegade royal couple. In fact, Archie’s first official trip was meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa.
Harry even brought his love of “wild places” to his courtship with Meghan Markle. One of their early dates back in 2016 was a camping trip to Botswana! After their engagement, the prince shared:
“I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana. We camped out with each other under the stars. She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic. So then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to know each other.”
Of course, conservation work is important for ALL of us — but it clearly holds special meaning for the Duke and his family.
Keep up the good work, Harry!
[Image via WENN/Avalon]
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