Prince Harry exchanged royal for rockstar in honor of a very important cause.
Tuesday night in the 31-year-old's very own Kensington Palace backyard, the prince organized a massive benefit concert in honor of the people of Lesotho in South Africa battling HIV and AIDS. As can be expected of a royal affair, Prince Harry left no stone unturned, calling in Britain's very own Coldplay to headline the evening. The event was held in conjunction with the charity Harry helped establish in 2006, Sentebale.
"Sentebale, meaning forget me not in Sesotho, has helped tens of thousands of children in just over a decade," he said while addressing the crowd at the start of the night. "We focus on, not just making sure children with HIV, get the medical treatment they need, but the emotional support and empowering knowledge that is so vital for their long-term health and prosperity."
In honor of event, Prince Harry organized additional musical appearances by "Am I Wrong" duo Nico and Vinz, the Basotho Youth Choir and Sentebale ambassador, Grammy winner Joss Stone. However, before the festivities were in full swing, Harry was careful to remind attendees that HIV and AIDS is not just an issue overseas. "In southern Africa, the epidemic remains the biggest killer of adolescents. Here in the UK, more people have the virus than ever before," he announced.
It's a reality Prince Harry witnessed firsthand when he initially visited Lesotho as a teenager. Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, whom Harry co-founded the organization with a decade ago, likened the young royal to his famously charitable mother.
"To you, my dear friend and brother Harry, I wish to pay a very special tribute. You came to Lesotho as a young man and today you stand tall and proud and are walking among the giants. You are making a difference. That is a testimony to the mother that we so love, that is Princess Diana," he reportedly said before the crowd. "You in her footsteps have gone beyond the call of duty and gone to those dark corners and reached out your hand to the most vulnerable children of Aftica and in particular, Lesotho. Harry got up and went to Lesotho and said to the children of Lesotho, 'I am part of you.'"
In addition to the concert, it was announced Tuesday that Prince Harry will meet with doctors and nurses caring for patients in South London, home to one of the highest concentrations of HIV-positive people in Europe, in July. He is also scheduled to travel to Durban, South Africa next month for the 2016 International AIDS Conference.
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After Coldplay filled the palace property with the sound of its 2011 hit "Paradise," the Basotho Youth Choir joined them to belt out "Up&Up." Thanks to a Twitter video shared by the Kensington Palace Twitter account, an elated Harry can be seen grooving to the music and truly enjoying the special moment while surrounded by the children.
While he looked happy, Harry urged everyone to pay close attention to the children's group and mimic their delightful spirit.
"What we know is that HIV is a virus that thrives off silence and feeds on stigma," he concluded. "We must follow the example of the young people of Lesotho, and meet one of the great challenges of our generation with optimism, energy, and openness. That's what tonight is all about. When people come together for a purpose we can achieve extraordinary things."