Prince Harry's speech at the Sentebale Concert, Kensington Palace
Published 28 June 2016
We must follow the example of the young people of Lesotho, and meet one of the great challenges of our generation with optimism, energy, and openness.
Good evening everyone and welcome to Kensington Palace.
Tonight you've been learning a little bit about Lesotho, a beautiful mountain kingdom I first travelled to when I was 19.
What I saw there was a country with significant challenges; some of the world's most vulnerable young people, robbed of their childhoods - forced into work due to extreme poverty and the loss of ONE OR BOTH parents to the devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic. In some cases the 'lady of the house' was a 12-year-old girl looking after her brothers and sisters.
But what I remember most from that first visit was learning that this was a country with joy in its heart – a country that faced its challenges with warmth, optimism, and courage. It didn't take me long to be hooked on the country and to the irresistible smiles of its children.
My friend Prince Seeiso and I founded Sentebale to do what we could to support the young people of Lesotho – to empower a generation with knowledge and understanding so they can give their country an alternative, brighter future.
Sentebale, meaning forget me not in Sesotho, has helped tens of thousands of children in just over a decade. We focus on, not just making sure children with HIV, get the medical treatment they need, but the emotional support and empowering knowledge that is so vital for their long-term health and prosperity. And we put that warmth, optimism, and courage that I first saw in Lesotho as a teenager, into everything we do.
Now, I know you've come here tonight to see some of the best entertainers on the planet. But I want to take this moment to give you something to think about…
If you have been moved by the stories that you've heard, please commit to taking a little bit of time to learn about the fight against HIV in places like Lesotho, throughout Africa, and here in the UK as well.
This is a topic that has drifted from the headlines, but remains an urgent challenge. In southern Africa, the epidemic remains the biggest killer of adolescents. Here in the UK, more people have the virus than ever before.
What we know is that HIV is a virus that thrives off silence and feeds on stigma. Every single one of us has a responsibility to educate ourselves. To do what we can to speak out and stamp out the silence, ignorance, and fear that the virus needs to win.
We must follow the example of the young people of Lesotho, and meet one of the great challenges of our generation with optimism, energy, and openness. That's what tonight is all about. When people come together for a purpose we can achieve extraordinary things.
Lastly, I'm so pleased to have the support of all the great acts here tonight to help us raise awareness of this work. Thank you to Joss and the choir, thank you to George, thank you to Nico and Vinz, thank you to Laura, and thank you to the band that I now have the great pleasure of introducing – ladies and gentleman, fresh from making Glastonbury glow, one of our own, Coldplay!
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex launch Shout
A speech by The Duke of Sussex at The Endeavour Fund Awards
You do not have to be defined by your injury or disability. It does not have to hold you back.
A speech by The Duke of Sussex at Circus Zambia, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust Event, Lusaka
We established The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to be your platform. The place where your voices can be heard, where your work is seen and taken seriously.
The Duke of Sussex to attend International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam
A speech by The Duke of Sussex at a reception to mark the Commonwealth Youth Challenge
We can’t wait to see you in action in your home countries and learn about what you’re doing to better the Commonwealth, and the world, in 2040 and beyond.
A speech by Prince Harry at The Royal Foundation Forum
So far today you’ve heard William explain The Royal Foundation model of working together. And Catherine has shared with you, our belief in the value of focusing on the long...
Prince Harry gives a speech at the WellChild Awards
This is my tenth year as WellChild's patron and of course I'm honoured to be here at another awards ceremony celebrating the powerful work of this organisation.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry celebrate World Mental Health Day09 October 2017
Prince Harry gives a speech at The Queen's Young Leaders Awards
We are here today to recognise our Queen's Young Leaders for 2017. The Queen's Young Leaders Programme was launched in 2014 in honour of Her Majesty The Queen's 60 years of...
A speech by Prince Harry at the Heads Together training day in Newcastle
If we are all willing to have these conversations, we will end the stigma around mental health once and for all
A speech by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry at the Heads Together event, London 2017
It is no exaggeration to say that conversations – simple conversations – can be life-changing: in a workplace, in your kitchen at home, with a friend, family member or...
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry attend charity Christmas party19 December 2016
Prince Harry visits MapAction volunteers in Norway
A speech by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry for Heads Together on World Mental Health Day
To us, mental health first aid means getting in there early to support people, before what they're going through becomes more serious or even clinical.
A speech by Prince Harry as the Coach Core apprenticeship scheme celebrates its nationwide expansion
We have a big vision for Coach Core and want to make it possible for young people all over the country to take part in this programme.
A speech by Prince Harry at the Wellchild Awards, 2016
I would like to congratulate all of tonight’s winners again, well done and thank you for inspiring all of us with your strength, positivity and selflessness.
Prince Harry hosts Heads Together BBQ with sports stars and those who have supported them through tough times
A speech by Prince Harry at the International AIDS Conference in Durban
We cannot lose a sense of urgency, because despite all the progress we have made, HIV remains among the most pressing and urgent of global challenges
Prince Harry's charity Sentebale to host music concert in Kensington Palace Gardens with Coldplay on 28 June
Prince Harry's speech at the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup, Florida
We are confident that, in partnership with others and by maximising our use of the new centre, we will provide 1 million hours of support to children and young people living...