British Prince Harry charms Nepali locals on tour of quake-hit areas

Britain's Prince Harry greeted Nepali locals and spoke with the survivors of the 2015 earthquake in and around Kathmandu on Sunday, as part of his visit to Nepal which sees him tour areas hit hard by the disaster.

He visited Patan Durbar Square in central Kathmandu and Bhaktapur east of the capital - both areas which sustained severe damage during the earthquake.

A casually dressed Prince Harry walked through the ancient seat of the Malla kings, viewing monuments, interacting with artisans and the locals.

Residents crowded to catch a glimpse of the prince, while young women were able to ask for his autograph. The prince greeted elderly women with the Nepali greeting, "namaste."

Reconstruction work is under way in Bhaktapur with the support of the British government. Late Sunday, the prince met with earthquake survivors who have been living in temporary camps there.

Earlier, he held talks with Nepal's first woman President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, during which the two discussed climate change and the empowerment of women.

The prince arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday at the start of a five-day visit, and met the prime minister and the foreign minister soon after his arrival.

“I ... know that I arrive here in Nepal as you approach the first anniversary of the earthquakes that took so many lives and that you are working to recover from,” the prince said during his address, recalling the earthquakes in 2015 that killed 8,800 people in Nepal.

“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,” he added.

On Monday, he is to travel to Bardiya Wildlife Reserve in western Nepal, before heading to Pokhara, where he will visit the villages of Gurkha soldiers affected by last year's quake.

On Wednesday, he will join the president in inaugurating the Nepal Girl Summit before returning home.

It is the first time in years that a British royal family member has visited Nepal. Late Princess Diana, Harry's mother, had visited the Himalayan nation in 1993.

Last update: Sun, 20/03/2016 - 14:37

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