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02.27.13

Harry: I Hope Princess Diana Would Be Proud Of Me

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Prince Harry learns sign language from deaf children during at visit to the Kananelo Centre for the deaf (Chris Jackson / Getty Images)

Prince Harry paid an emotional tribute to his mother tonight, saying the he hoped that Princess Diana would be looking down from above and be “proud” of the work his charity Sentebale has achieved.

Speaking at a gala dinner he evoked his mother's memory, saying that she might be in heaven drawing out plans for how a new playground the charity Sentebale - the name means 'forget me not' - is building.

Harry made the moving speech in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he flew today after spending several days in Lesotho.

The dinner marked the launch of plans to build a Mamohato Centre for children and young people - named after Sentebale's co-founder Prince Seeiso’s mother Queen Mamohato Bereng Seeiso.

Harry said: “I hope she would be proud of what we are trying to achieve in her name. I hope that my mother will be proud, too. Maybe, just maybe,  they are together somewhere up there, with blue prints and sketches already mapped out!

“I can only hope we put the swings in the right place.”

The 250-plate dinner dinner kicks off a £2.4 million fundraising campaign to build the first permanent centre for children and young people infected with, or affected by, HIV and Aids in Lesotho.

Harry said: 'Over the past few days I have been in Lesotho visiting Sentebale staff, care-givers, volunteers and, most importantly, meeting and getting to know the children who receive our support.

"It is inspiring to hear how Sentebale is making such a big difference to these children – so many of whom are orphaned, have disabilities, are HIV-positive or who live the harsh life of the herd-boy."