An orphan who Prince Harry befriended on a gap year trip to Africa in 2004 was among the lucky onlookers given a prime spot within the grounds of Windsor Castle for the royal wedding.
The Duke of Sussex, who married former TV actress Meghan Markle at a star-studded ceremony inside St George's Chapel, struck up an immediate bond with Relebohile “Mutsu” Potsane, then aged four, when volunteering at the Mants’ase Children’s Home for orphans in the African kingdom of Lesotho.
Mutsu, now 18, was among ten representatives at the fairytale wedding from the charity Sentebale, the Daily Express reports, which the royal co-founded in 2006 to support the wellbeing of children and young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana.
A total of 200 representatives from different charities closely associated with the Prince were among the 2,460 members of the public with a “golden ticket” to enjoy the celebrations inside the grounds of Windsor Castle “to feel part of the celebrations”.
Charities including WellChild and the Invictus Games Foundation gathered in the Horseshoe Cloister to welcome arrivals and were among the first to congratulate the newlyweds as they left the chapel to huge applause.
Congratulations to the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, from everyone at @Sentebale �� We were delighted that some of our Lesotho team were able to join in the very special celebrations in Windsor today! #SentebaleCelebrates#RoyalWeddingpic.twitter.com/DQ6Gwsl1ri— @Sentebale (@Sentebale) May 19, 2018
Harry's close friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, with whom he established the charity, said he hopes the new Duchess of Sussex will visit the landlocked country with her husband in the future.
“I hope he will bring Meghan to Lesotho to see what he's been doing all these years,” he said. “And when he comes, he can have a feast.”
He added: “The young Harry who first arrived in Lesotho in 2004 is now a grown man getting married.
“I've come here with all the wishes of Lesotho, I'm not here on my own behalf I'm here representing the entire nation who are so happy.”
Sentebale shared a photo of some of its members enjoying the celebrations, tweeting: “Congratulations to the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, from everyone at Sentebale. We were delighted that some of our Lesotho team were able to join in the very special celebrations in Windsor today!”
The Prince was reunited with Mutsu in 2015 when he returned for the official opening of the charity’s new children’s centre.
“This charity is a way in which Prince Seeiso and I can remember our mothers, who both worked with vulnerable children and people affected by Aids,” he said. “I really feel that by doing this I can follow in my mother’s footsteps and keep her legacy alive.”
Lesotho, known as ‘The Mountain Kingdom’, was among the 53 Commonwealth nations incorporated into Ms Markle’s five-metre silk veil embroidered with flowers, represented by a spiral aloe.