Royal brothers William and Harry ended their eight day motorcycle trek across South Africa on Sunday. The treacherous journey was all in the name of charity, as well as a good ol’ joyride.
The princes received bumps and bruises along the way, but no doubt enjoyed themselves.
Trip organiser Simon Smith from Global Euro said the two were “outstanding” riders.
“They were both fantastic riders and didn’t run from anything. They asked us to treat them as one of the group and that’s what we did. They mucked in chores and shared a beer and food round the BBQ. They were outstanding companions.”
He said the princes both paid the £5,000 fee but declined to say if senior members of the royals helped out with sponsorship.
During their journey, William and Harry stopped by villages, meeting with the local children. The children are the ones who will be benefitting from the charities the royal duo’s money and work were going towards. William and Harry even took time to play football with local villagers.
During the trip they rode through mountains, gorges, scrubland, dry river beds and coastline in a journey across the Eastern Cape, South Africa’s poorest province. The trip raised money for three charities, Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund, UNICEF and Harry’s Sentebale charity in Lesotho which helps orphaned children. Around £1,500 of the fee was divided between the charities which organiser hoped would amount to £310,000.
The ending of this journey was to be marked with joy for William and Harry, but it is being mired in controversy. First off, some naysayers see the trek as a simple excuse for the brothers to go for joyride, and ignore their royal duties.
But the biggest controversy is being directed towards Sentebale. Reports are coming out that the charity is not funding the needs for disadvantaged children in Lesotho. Lydia Muso, of the Lesotho Child Counselling Unit (LCCU) which caters for 17 sexually and physically abused children, reportedly said that after initial help it had stopped receiving money from the Sentebale charity launched by the prince in 2006.
“They [Sentebale] have promised us 500,000 South African rand [£30,000] for the day-to-day running of this sanctuary for children. But none of the money has arrived,” said Muso.
A spokesman for Sentebale says it gave LCCU funds to help start it.
“This year we still plan to give 38,000 [pounds] to LCCU and spend a further 27,000 [pounds] on management and support training,” says Miguel Head.
He said one reason for Sentebale’s delay was because it was not satisfied with Muso’s initial request for funding to be paid directly into her own bank account.
Nevertheless, William and Harry are definitely proud of themselves for going on this much anticipated journey. And certainly, there will be charities that will benefit from it.