Prince Harry bestowed a very special honour on Archbishop Desmond Tutu while in Cape Town, South Africa, on Monday (Nov. 30). Of being named an honorary member of the Order of the Companions of Honour, the archbishop said he was "deeply touched." The Queen's special distinction recognizes the archbishops's work with U.K. communities and toward international peace.
Harry bestowed Desmond with the honour on behalf of his grandmother during their meeting at the offices of the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation. The private meeting offered the 31-year-old prince the opportunity to hear more about Tutu's work in peace building, conflict resolution, development and human rights.
In turn, Tutu took the opportunity to thank Harry for the work he has been carrying out in Lesotho with his charity Sentebale. The archbishop told the prince, "I am very touched by your commitment to Lesotho. I taught at the university there and became Bishop of Lesotho. It has always had a very soft spot in our hearts, just wonderful that you and the English are helping, thank you very much."
British High Commissioner Judith Macgregor said the honour was given to "the Arch," as he is affectionately known, "in recognition of a lifetime of commitment to peace, reconciliation and commitment to human rights".
The archbishop proudly wore his award as he emerged from the meeting and joined Harry to greet crowds who had gathered along the waterfront.
Dedicating the award to his supporters, he said, "We depend so much on other people. I have stuck out in a crowd because you are being carried on the shoulders of others. If the people had repudiated me, where would I be?"
He continued, "The fact of the matter is that they came along and agreed with me when I said we wanted sanctions against the apartheid regime. Despite all of the efforts of the apartheid regime to alienate us, they stood by us and said you are our leader. Without them, I would be nothing. It’s as much their award as it is mine."
The archbishop, who previously met Prince Harry in 2014, already holds the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, given to him by Barack Obama, and is a Grand Officer of the French Légion d'honneur. He also holds the German Order of Merit Grand Cross, the Gandhi Peace Prize and the Sydney Peace Prize.
Harry continued his royal engagements in Cape Town and paid a visit to a youth centre and a project which uses sport to engage with young people on issues such as life skills, gender equality and HIV awareness.