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A speech by Prince Harry at the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, Governors Island, New York

Published 27 June 2010

No childhood, no hope and no future.

The Duke of Sussex

It is fantastic to be back in New York City, and even better to be here again on Governor’s Island for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic. It is also good to be warm, but maybe not this warm! A welcome relief after the snow and ice of Lesotho, where I was last week with my very good friend and fellow founding Patron of Sentebale, Prince Seeiso - who is so sorry not to be able to be here today. Not because of the hot air balloon!

My reason for being in Lesotho was that I wanted to show my brother, William, the great things that Sentebale is achieving for the country’s thousands of orphans and vulnerable children – not least the work that the support of Veuve Clicquot has enabled us to do following last year’s Classic. Mark – thank you so very much.

I felt it was important for William to see what we have been doing, as the whole idea of Sentebale arose because Prince Seeiso and I wanted to follow the examples set by both our mothers. Both were much loved.

Both loved people. Both loved helping people who needed it the most. And, boy, do the courageous, kind-hearted people of Lesotho need our help now.

Each and every day, one hundred more children in this beautiful mountain kingdom have their lives torn apart by the loss of a parent or both parents. Already with no prospect of a regular, nourishing diet, with little hope of any meaningful education, they face a bleak future, alone in one of the harshest - albeit most lovely - environments in Africa. No childhood, no hope and no future.

But this is where Sentebale comes in. What the charity is achieving makes me very, very proud. I can say this without conceit, because it is not me who is making the difference. It is the people working tirelessly on the ground in Lesotho: our partners, our staff, Grandparents, single parents, elder siblings, the Chiefs, the King and the Royal Family of Lesotho - all those who see beyond the tragedies of today and realise that the young people of this spell-binding land are its future.

So, thank you for being here today. By being here, whether you know if or not, you continue the finest traditions of American charity. Your great country has always protected the down-trodden, the poorest, those most in need of help in the world. To me, this is what the United States stands for. So I turn to you, as so many others have done before. With your support, the 400,000 orphans and vulnerable children of Lesotho – nearly one quarter of the population of that country - can find hope where there is none, a future out of bleakness.

Thank you very much.