Prince Harry kicked off his five-day tour of Nepal when he arrived in Kathmandu on Saturday. The British royal charmed one and all as he greeted dignitaries with the words “namaste” and “dhanyabad” at the Yak and Yeti Hotel in the capital of the Asian country. The 31-year-old Harry will tell the world that Nepal was ready to welcome everyone.
The fifth-in-line to the British throne showed off his Nepali skills during a speech in front of dignitaries. The prince also spoke about the purpose of his visit — he wants to shine the light on the enormous will power that the local people showed to rebuild their country after the devastating 2015 earthquakes. He wants to tell the world that Nepal is “open for business” now.
According to The Daily Telegraph, tourism is a huge part of the economy, but travellers have yet to return in significant numbers. The sport loving royal Harry will also indulge in a trek in the foothills of the Himalayas to showcase the stunning scenery that used to attract 800,000 tourists per year in Nepal.
British travelers, along with American, Indian, Chinese and Sri Lankan tourists are majority to tourists visiting Nepal.
Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli welcomes Prince Harry to Nepal pic.twitter.com/yVESIdWCaL
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 19, 2016
Meanwhile, Harry looked handsome in a blue suit and his ginger hair and beard as he greeted Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli and the country’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister Kamal Thapa. This is Harry’s first ever visit to Nepal and he followed in the footsteps of his father Prince Charles and his grandparents Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip. The last royal visit to Nepal was carried out by his grandfather in 2000.
“I pay my respects to those who perished and hope to do what I can to shine a spotlight on the resolve and resilience of the Nepalese people. 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,” Harry said. He also said that he was eager to visit Nepal after he served with the Gurkhas — during his 2007 tour in Afghanistan.
Harry will “personally thank the Gurkhas for their service to the Crown.” He was greeted at a special “purity ceremony” in Kathmandu, where five young women gave him flowers and placed a garland around this neck. In Nepal, virgins represent purity and innocence, while five is considered as a lucky number.
After his official visit, Prince William and Kate Middleton will visit India and Bhutan in April.