In an emotional meeting, Prince Harry chatted Sandra Thijika who was famously photographed with Diana under a fig tree 22 years ago, and whose story had brought his mother to tears.
Prince Harry, along with the Duchess of Sussex and their baby boy Archie, is on a 10-day official tour to South Africa. The Prince who has always been keen on keeping the memory of his mother, Princess Diana, alive stopped by Angola to retrace the path once taken by her.
He's visiting the places she did over 20 years ago and meeting the people she met back then, who went on to make a huge impact on her.
Princess Diana had visited the minefields of Angola with the Halo Trust in 1997, months before her death. During his tour of the city of Huambo, Harry visited the Princess Diana Orthopaedic Centre, the African hospital that his mother visited back in 1997, which has since been renamed after her. There, he met a landmine victim who has fond memories of his mother during her trip to the country in 1997.
38-year-old Sandra Thijika met Princess Diana when she was a young 13-year-old. The Princess who visited an orthopedic workshop in Luanda met the girl and was photographed with her under a fig tree. Upon meeting Prince Harry, Sandra recalled her time with the Princess 22 years ago.
"I think I met Princess Diana on a Tuesday, she came to the centre and she wanted to see how a change of prosthetic limb was done. At that time I was very small, I was a very tiny girl and they started measuring my knee so they could see how the prosthetic would fit," said the woman to Prince Harry, reported Mirror Online.
She then went on to say how the Princess could not control her tears as she watched the process. "Princess Diana was watching this process and she started crying as she watched me getting measured for a new prosthetic. After they measured my knee we went outside and we sat by a fig tree and she was speaking to me and I felt very happy, I felt very complete to have the attention of a princess. It was an honor to be sitting next to a princess," told Sandra.
And just like his mother, Harry sat by her and listened to her speak with the help of a translator. Quoting the government's promise to contribute £48million to the landmine clearing work of the Halo Trust, the Prince told Sandra, "I know you will never get your leg back, but I hope with the president's contribution...you will have some peace of mind."
Sandra, who now has five children, told Harry how she named her daughter Diana. He could not believe she was a mother of five and was evidently surprised. He asked her their ages and assured her that there would soon be a day without landmines. "Your children will be growing up to your age and there won't be any landmines," said the Prince.
The landmine victim then told the media of her meeting with the Prince. She told," This is a long story and this is a beautiful story because I've come out of the province to meet Diana's son, so this is putting the focus on all of us who have physical disabilities. So it's good for Angola that the world can see we need help that we need help and much can be done for us."
She even said she was happy to hear the Prince talk about a landmine free Angola. "I'm very happy to hear him say that, it feels like the work in Angola will continue and we will be landmine free," said the mother of five who walks with the help of a prosthetic.
Harry's trip to Angola was full of emotional moments. He walked through the once dangerous landmine remembering his courageous mother who had sparked off criticism for choosing to do so.
In a speech to the local community, the Prince said, "It has been quite emotional retracing my mother's steps through these streets 22 years ago and to see the transformation that has taken place from an unsafe and desolate area into a vibrant community with local businesses and colleges."
Watch their emotional meeting here: