Tuesday, 8 July 2008


Photo from Wikimedia/Tjeerd Wiersma. Creative Commons licence.

Lesotho is a small country surrounded by South Africa. The census of 2006 put its population at less than 2 million. It has one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world.

As I was watching the news this evening I learned that Prince Harry and 20 or so of his army colleagues were in Lesotho to refurbish a special needs school. Apparently this school cost $165,000, say £85,000, funded in part by a local charity Sentebale. He said that the problem was huge but that they could definitely handle it "as long as we can keep the funding coming".

And how much did it cost to have the whole thing filmed for television?

Was it only last week that it was announced that Prince Charles' personal income had risen by £1.1 million to over £16.2 million? And that his tax bill had reduced?

I'm sorry to say that I find it obscene.


  1. This is an eternel problem. I red in a magazine Rich people are richer than never. But Poor are always poor on this world.
    A friend of my school will have a trip to Namibie this summer with her husband and daughter. Sounds to be a marvelous plan for them.

  2. Prince Charles on his own could solve Lesotho's problems. One does often wonder just how much these 'celebrities' want to help, and how much is just plain sensation seeking.

    With regards to HIV/AIDS my own country (South Africa) is not much better off than our neighbour (Lesotho).

  3. I would have more respect for him if he didn't have a film crew accompanying him.

  4. Journalists/Film crew would be there whether he wanted them or not - so may as well make some positive use of having to live your life in the glare of publicity and the stats show that celebrity involvement increases revenue. For some writing a cheque is too easy. Mind you, what our troops are doing in Lesotho when they should be on some well-deserved R&R, or failing that a tad further north in the Horn, is beyond me.

  5. @Claudie, Namibia, sounds like a wonderful trip!
    @Sailor, I entirely agree. Publicity and/or PR stunts.
    @Elaine, exactly!
    @j, I'm not so sure that the journalists would be there if the Royal Family didn't want them. We hear of quite a few incidents of brushes with journalists when their presence wasn't required. I think it's just PR as Caledonian Jim says "his handlers try to present him in the saintly image of his Mother". And yes, there are a lot better things for the troops to be doing at tax payers expense.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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