Following in Mum’s Footsteps

Did you see Matt Lauer’s much-talked-about interview with
Princes William and Harry on Dateline last Monday night?

The heirs to the British throne sat down with Lauer to
discuss the ten-year anniversary of their mother’s untimely death. Princess
Diana, considered by many to be the most famous woman in the world, was
especially well known for her involvement with international charitable
organizations.

It seems that William and Harry have developed the same
spirit of global consciousness as their mother. Prince William graduated from Scotland’s University of St. Andrews in 2005 with a Master’s
degree in Geography
, making him one of the world’s most famous
geography students.

Curious to see how academic pursuits might have influenced
other aspects of his life, I did a bit of searching and found that his interest
in human-environment relationships indeed extends beyond the classroom. In
2005, 25-year-old William became Patron of Tusk Trust, a British conservation organization that provides education and
community development programs in the African country of Tanzania to “secure a peaceful coexistence for Africa’s
wildlife and its people.”

Younger
brother Harry, 23, is also involved in organizations with geographic and humanitarian
missions. In 2007 he became Patron of MapAction,
a group that creates situational maps to aid relief efforts during natural and
humanitarian crises. MapAction provided maps following the Asian Tsunami in 2005. In 2006, Prince Harry teamed up with Prince
Seeiso of Lesotho in
southern Africa to found Sentebale, an organization that helps orphans and their communities in that country. He acknowledges the influence of his mother Diana
in The Forgotten Kingdom,
 a documentary chronicling his work: “I
believe I’ve got a lot of mother in me, basically, and I think she’d want us to
do this, my brother and me.”

Go to
the links above and check out the work of these cool organizations.

Then tell us: What do you think about the Princes’
involvement with these groups?
Are
they particularly altruistic and geographically-aware, or do world leaders in
their position have a responsibility to
support international humanitarian causes?

Does knowledge of geography–people and environments
close to home and far away–impact choices that you make? How?

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3 responses to “Following in Mum’s Footsteps

  1. The slide show under Flavor Friday (June 26, 2007) from the Hungary Planet book was outstanding. It will be fun to share this one with Michigan Geographic Alliance members next week when I talk to them about My Wonderful World.

  2. I am so proud of Prince Harry following in his beautiful Mothers Footsteps. Both of them have the most Gorgeous Souls in the World. Princess Diana is the most beautiful Woman that ever walked and I love her and her sons dearly.

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