Prince Harry began a five-day trip to Nepal by paying his respects to the victims of last years devastating earthquakes.
According to the BBC‘, Harry attended a welcoming reception held by the Nepal government for his first official visit to the country, where he said he wanted to “shine a spotlight on the resilience” of the Nepalese people.
“I pay my respects to those who perished and hope to do what I can to shine a spotlight on the resolve and resilience of the Nepalese people,” said Prince Harry. “I want to show all those people around the world who want to help that this is a country open for business – so please come and visit again.”
— People Magazine (@people) March 19, 2016
Prince Harry is scheduled to visit heritage sites hit by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake on 25 April and the second tremor on 12 May, and meet members of the Gurkhas brigade, with whom he served in Afghanistan as a soldier in the British Army.
“I served alongside Gurkhas during my first tour of Afghanistan and I look forward to visiting the communities that have produced and supported these extraordinary soldiers,” he said.
— POPSUGAR (@POPSUGAR) March 19, 2016
The Gurkhas, named after the Nepalese hill town of Gorkha, first joined forces with the British by joining the East India Company, and later the British army.
According to the BBC, the Gurkhas have served in every major conflict involving British forces for two centuries, and won 13 Victoria Crosses – the highest British military decoration for valour.
More than 200,000 Gurkhas fought in the two world wars, and today, there are about 2,600 Gurkhas serving in the British armed forces.