Judging by his love for living rough in the African bush while contemplating lion conservation and how best to enhance it, we are compelled to come to the conclusion that Prince Harry prefers to be living in Africa; living a more normal life doing something he truly loves, being involved with the African people, African wildlife and conservation rather than being a prince. It appears to me that he loves to be amongst nature, near the land, with animals and children.
There is a wonderful picture of him assisting a veterinarian who is taking a blood sample from a sedated male lion. He has his hand over the lion’s heart to make sure that the lion’s heartbeat is satisfactory. He is checking that the anaesthetic is not harming the lion.
My assessment is supported by what Harry has said, and I’m reading between the lines. He said:
“I have to go along with the way my life is, and in many ways I’m very privileged. It’s how things are and I know what I have to do. But I want to spend time out here regularly, it’s become really precious to me and I’m learning a lot.”
I don’t think it takes much imagination to read between the lines of that statement. He says he has to discharge his duties as a senior member of the Royal family. This is a duty whereas being amongst the animals and the people in the African bush is a pleasure and it is precious to him. There is the contrast and there is the truth.
Even in the African bush doing conservation work he has to have two protection officers with him at all times. Harry insisted upon sleeping under the stars when he could have slept in a tent which would have been safer. As a result his protection officers also had the sleep under the stars.
Prince Harry said:
“I’ve come all the way to Africa to be free. I’m taking my bed role and I’m sleeping by the fire.”
In Africa he feels free. He’s free of the shackles of the responsibility of being a Prince in the Royal family. That role carries responsibilities which I sense Prince Harry finds uncomfortable. Perhaps that’s unfair – perhaps he finds that he is ill suited to those responsibilities. And who could blame him? His heart is in living a more natural, open life.
For the record, the stated reason why Harry is in Africa is to assess conservation issues so that they can report back to his brother Prince William as they are both going to be involved over the years to come in new conservation programs and initiatives working with the African authorities.
“This is a recce really. I am taking a lot of new information back home with me for my brother and me to analyse. We are going to work out a strategy for doing more in Africa and to encourage new conservation initiatives.”
Prince Harry has been labelled the “Playboy Prince”. I think, today, that is unfair and inaccurate. Perhaps it was just part of his life when he was younger but he now appears to be a serious conservationist. He has played a full role in the team that he is working with tracking lions in the remote 10,000 mi.² Palmag Reserve, Namibia. This is a vast area of desert and scrub where there are lions, rhino, leopard’s and elephants.
One of the team is veterinarian Dr Stander. He uses tranquilizer darts to sedate the animals. He compliments Harry in assisting him by saying:
“Harry knew what he was doing. He stayed calm and help to fix the new collar with its studs and buckles.”
Prince Harry is a natural at conservation work under difficult conditions. He has that sort of mentality and it is this kind of work rather than making speeches as a prince which inspires him. He thrives under these sorts of conditions. If we’re completely honest, we have to conclude that Prince Harry does not want to be a prince but he will do his job to the best of his ability while his heart is in Africa.
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