During his fourth day in Nepal, Prince Harry joined in a Hindu festival of colour, turning his ginger beard bright red.
He had powder paint smeared on his face as part of the festival of Holi. This Hindu Festival of colour is a ritual where powder paint is thrown, as is coloured water, as social conventions are relaxed.
The Prince was at the Gauda Secondary School in the village of Okhari, up in the mountains, to see how the British-based Gurkha Welfare Trust is helping to fund the rebuilding of the school after a number of buildings were damaged during last year’s earthquake.
Juna Garung, started the festival by smearing paint on Harry’s face; he in turn grabbed some powder and wiped it on his Army colleague, Gurkha officer Major Prakash Gurung.
The Royal trekked for an hour down the hillside, having spent the night there as the guest of an 86-year-old Gurkha widow. Harry described the experience as ‘amazing’.
He also said: “Lots of dogs barking, but it didn’t seem to bother them, apparently the locals, they’re happy if the dogs are barking, but they’re not happy if they dogs are not barking.”
After he toured the school, where brick-built classrooms were replaced with tin shacks where the children are currently being taught, the former Army captain played volleyball with the children in the beaten-earth playground.
It was then to a wreath-laying ceremony at Gurkha headquarters in Pokhara. He laid a wreath to the 10 soldiers who died during the Afghanistan conflict and wrote: “With the deepest, admiration respect and gratitude. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten”.
Prince Harry served alongside Ghurkas in his tours of Afghanistan.
During his fifth day in Nepal, yesterday Prince Harry opened the Nepal Girl Summit with the nation’s first woman president, Bidya Devi Bhandari.
Here, he spoke about his support for stopping child marriages. He said: “Here in Nepal, nearly half of all women who are today in their 20s, 30s and 40s were married before their 18th birthdays. And a little under half gave birth while still in their teens.
“It may be obvious to say it, but girls who marry young stay at home. They don’t finish school. And they soon become locked in a cycle of illiteracy, poverty, ill health and, ultimately, powerlessness.
“How can this cycle be broken? We all know what the answer is – education.”
“I recognise that each country must find its own path, and that here in Nepal this is a complex social challenge,” the Pricme said. “But it is one that the government is tackling and is making progress in its hope of ending child marriage by 2030.”
Later Harry scrubbed up and visited a hospital unit for children suffering from burns injuries. Harry was at the Kanti Children’s Hospital in Kathmandu, where he met children whom had been injured after being displaced by the earthquake.
The 31-year-old was seen giving a high five to Pemba Sherpa, a five-year-old with burns to his legs and feet, also losing six toes falling into a fire.
Also, Harry took time to pass by the young patients beds, chatted with them and heard about their injuries.
Prince Harry wants ‘to do my bit to help this beautiful country’ and he planned to stay six extra more days in Nepal. During these days he is expected to help in rebuilding a school destroyed by last year’s earthquake in the Himalayas.