Prince Harry meets same landmine victim visited by mum Diana 22 years ago - Evewoman


Prince Harry meets same landmine victim visited by mum Diana 22 years ago

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This is the poignant moment Prince Harry met the same landmine victim his mum Princess Diana visited in Angola more than 20 years ago.

During the second day of his visit to the country, the Duke of Sussex spent time with people maimed by the munitions laid during a bloody civil war.

These included 38-year-old Sandra Thijika, who was famously pictured sitting on Diana's knee in 1997 before she was measured for a new prosthetic leg.

Princess Diana visited Angola more than 20 years ago (Photo: Tim Graham Photo Library via Get)

She said meeting Diana's son today made her feel "complete".

"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," Sandra added.

"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.

"Princess Diana was watching this process and she started crying as she watched me getting measured for a new prosthetic.

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"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 honour to be sitting next to a princess."

Sandra Thijika was famously pictured sitting on Diana's knee (Photo: Reuters)

Diana walked through a partially cleared minefield in Angola in 1997 to raise awareness about the issue of the weapons.

She then chatted to people at an orthopaedic workshop in Luanda. On his visit there, Harry opened a hospital renamed in Diana's honour.

Angola pledges to invest Sh6.1 billion (£48 million) into the work of the landmine clearing charity Halo Trust.

"I know you will never get your leg back, but I hope with the president's will have some peace of mind," Harry told Sandra, who is now a mother-of-five.

The mum told the Duke she had five children, and the royal seemed taken aback and asked for their ages and she told him, speaking through an interpreter: "I have a daughter, I named her after Diana."

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Prince Harry retraced his mother's footsteps during his visit (Photo: PA)

Harry sounded a positive note, telling her: "Your children will be growing up to your age and there won't be any landmines."

In response to Harry's pledge, the 38-year-old said: "I'm very happy to hear him say that, it feels like the work in Angola will continue and we will be landmine free."

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She said about meeting Harry: "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."

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