Prince Harry hosted a Remembrance Dinner for the Gurkha Welfare Trust, (GWT). The event was held at the State Apartments at Kensington Palace.
Prince Harry served with the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles during his tour in Afghanistan in 2007-08. During this tour, Harry commented: “When you know you are with the Gurkhas, I think there’s no safer place to be, really.”
Also present at the black-tie fundraiser were GWT Vice Patrons Joanna Lumley OBE FRGS and Field Marshal Sir John Chapple GCB CBE DL. The event also saw other GWT supporters donors in attendance. Prince Harry said at the start of the evening’s event that even though he might not have a 40-year association with the Gurhkas as his father, his own relationship with them is equally important to him.
“The men of the Royal Gurkha Rifles are some of the most dedicated, caring, humble and courageous soldiers I have ever had the privilege to meet. They are an inspiration to me and to anyone fortunate enough to meet them. I am honoured to call them my friends.
“The Gurkha Welfare Trust provides the most incredible support to these men, their families and the communities in which they live; the charity doesn’t pretend to have all the answers but listens to what its beneficiaries need and provides it in the most efficient way possible.”
At the fundraiser, Prince Harry was reunited with GWT team member and retired Gurkha Major, Bishnu Pun. Bishnu once served as an Orderly at the Household of The Prince of Wales. He also acted as a host during an official visit in 1991 of Prince charles who was Colonel-in-Chief of the 2nd Gurkha Rifles.
Bishnu said about his reunion with Prince Harry: “Prince Harry does a huge amount to support a number of military charities. Having spent time with the prince when he visited the regiment as a 6 year-old boy I am delighted to see that his enthusiasm for the Gurkhas hasn’t faded. We’re all incredibly grateful for his support.”
GWT Director Al Howard, former officer who served with the Gurkhas in Hong Kong and Brunei. He left the Army in 1998. The dinner was a fitting remembrance tribute not only to the brave Gurkhas who lost their lives. It is a celebration the charity makes in the lives of Gurkha veterans, their families and the wider community in Nepal.
“We are extremely grateful to His Royal Highness for hosting this successful and very well received event and for his ongoing support of The Gurkha Welfare Trust.
“We are also very grateful to everyone else who attended and for the ongoing support of our Patrons and Ambassadors who continue to play a vital role in supporting the charity and championing the work we do.”