Prince Harry on emotional coming-of-age tour
(CBS News) Prince Harry had just reached the end of his 10-day, four-nation trip to the Caribbean to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee marking 60 years on the throne.
In the commonwealth nations of Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica, the prince brought a message of goodwill from the queen, the ceremonial head of state in these Caribbean countries.
On the sprawling polo grounds in the lush Brazilian countryside, the 27-year-old prince spoke with CBS News correspondent Seth Doane about his charity work, his life, and Afghanistan.
Seth Doane: Let's start with what brought you here to the countryside in Brazil to play polo for your charity, Sentebale. What has made you so passionate about this group of kids in this remote part of Africa?
Prince Harry: I think going back to when I think back to how it all started, it was a simple case of I went traveling for about eight weeks with a friend of mine from Australia. And went out to this small little country that I'd asked to go to, I asked to go to a country that, you know, basically Lesotho was the one for my visit. And I went there and after eight weeks of seeing the kids, seeing the people, seeing the country, and just seeing the problem as such and getting so attached with it. Once I finished that, I came back, decided that, you know, something had to be done.
In 2006, Prince Harry founded Sentebale - an organization to help vulnerable children in Lesotho, the African nation of two million. Working along with his counterpart there, Prince Seeiso, Senteble has raised $11 million so far.(Watch the first part of Seth Doane's interview with Prince Harry in the video below.)
Doane: When you co-founded this charity, you dedicated it in part to your mother, Princess Diana. Have you thought about her on this trip?
Prince Harry: I haven't necessarily had time to think about her. In my own personal moments of reflection of specific places, then yes. "Sentebale" means "forget me not," - simple case of not forgetting the children. And also, not forgetting our mothers who both princes and I lost at a fairly young age.
Doane: It's clear what these kids get from having you affiliated with them. What do you got from them?
Prince Harry: I get a huge buzz from spending time with kids. Not just the kids in, but kids in general. Obviously me being me, hopefully has brought a certain amount of attention to a country that needs attention. Every time I spend time with kids, it's fantastic. You get this buzz. I'm still very much a kid inside myself. Spending time with them keeps me grounded as such.
Doane: I suppose it's nice to be out of the spotlight in some ways.
Prince Harry: Yeah, it is. As far as they're concerned, they haven't got a clue who I am. They just think I'm a tall white guy who they can hang off of, and I can throw them around.
Doane: We watched those throngs of people waiting just to see you, to catch a glimpse. What is that like from the inside? Everyone seems to have this fascination with royalty. Does it live up to the fairytale?
Prince Harry: No, not at all. (Laughs) As any girl would ever tell you. It's sort of, "Oh my god, he's a prince." But no. The job that it entails - I mean look at me, I'm 27 years old, and not so much searching for someone to fulfill the role, but obviously, you know, finding someone that would be willing to take it on.
But, yeah, it has been slightly strange, this trip especially. Because, as the fact that I've been representing my grandmother. Yeah, people go crazy for royalty. People go crazy for David Beckham. The commonwealth countries, fine. I can understand that, this, the hype. But the warmth of reception was beyond anything I ever was going to sort of understand or expect.
Doane: May I just ask you about your grandmother?
Prince Harry: Yeah, sure.
Doane: This is a very public way of making a tribute to her. You spoke glowingly of your grandmother through the last ten days. Do you have private ways planned that you'll honor her, as well, for the 60th jubilee?
Prince Harry: I don't personally. I mean I've been away. When I get back, I'm sure ideas will start flowing. Us, as a group of grandchildren, will hopefully be able to have a dinner and something and do something fun with her, maybe take her out on the town, I don't know. But, yeah.
Doane: Does the queen go out on the town?
Prince Harry: I don't know, does-- I don't know. (Laughs) Does yours? (Laughs) But, no it's you know, she's a fantastic woman. Not only as a grandmother, but as a queen as everybody knows. You know, me being asked to do these countries and kick off the jubilee tour is an honor.
And I never expected the reception, as I said that we've been given in all these countries. And it just shows that, you know, despite the fact that she's only visited some of these countries two or three times, the impact that she has on these commonwealth countries from so far away is quite astonishing.
And, it made me, it did choke me up a little bit every now and then. 'Cause it was you know, yeah. 'Cause to me, she's just Granny. But, to all these countries, she's the queen. She's, you know, this great thing that they respect and love. So yeah, it's been an emotional tour but great fun.
Throughout his journey, the cameras remained focused on the prince. Is it difficult to connect with kids while flashing lights follow his every move.
Prince Harry: Believe me, I spend so much time with the kids with the cameras there - that...
Doane: That you tune it out?
Prince Harry: You try. No, you can never tune it out. And I'm unfortunately, more observant than most, so I always notice them. But when the cameras leave, is when I actually get time to enjoy the kids.
Doane: Is it tough with all of the cameras around all the time?
Prince Harry: Yeah, it's always tough. Lots of people can probably block them out but I can't. It's probably because of my military background and training. I always know what's going on around me, I know who's where - I can recognize the faces.
Prince Harry's military training was on display during the tour. He piloted a helicopter to Montego Bay in Jamaica, and also took aim at a firing range. The prince spent 77 days on the front lines in Afghanistan in 2007 to 2008. When his position was disclosed by media, it made him too much of a target to stay.
Doane: You've said you want to go back to Afghanistan. You clearly do not have to do that. Why would you go back? Do you think it's important for the Afghan people, the British people, the queen?
Prince Harry: If it was a pain for anyone for me to go, which I appreciate it probably is, but, you know, at the end of the time, at the end of the day, I've done my training. It's cost the Army money to train me. And if they didn't think that they could get me out there again, then they wouldn't have put me through this training. It's as simple as that.
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