Prince Harry becomes newest Coldplay member as he joins band on stage in HIV charity concert
Published 29/06/2016 | 07:36
Coldplay welcomed a new member to their line-up tonight - Prince Harry.
The Prince joined rock band Coldplay on stage on Monday to sing their hit Up&Up with them at the end of a one-off charity concert at Kensington Palace raising money to fight HIV/Aids.
The first ever pop concert on the Palace’s East Lawn was organised by the Prince’s charity Sentebale to raise funds and awareness of the plight of young people affected by HIV/Aids in Africa.
Introducing Coldplay, Prince Harry apologised to the band for the fact that a statue of Queen Victoria in the Palace's garden had its back to the stage, "surely the only person who has ever had their back to Coldplay", but added: "I'm sure she would have been a massive Coldplay fan."
In the concert’s finale the Prince, together with Sentebale co-founder Prince Seeiso of Lesotho and a 12-strong choir from the southern African kingdom, accompanied Coldplay to sing to a 3,000-strong audience.
Earlier today Kensington Palace announced that the Prince will step up his fight against HIV/Aids with a new series of engagements and meetings to shine a spotlight on the ongoing need for action.
In July, he will travel as Sentebale Patron to Durban, South Africa for the 2016 International Aids Conference to meet leaders in the field and to speak to the assembled delegates.
Although progress has been made in reducing the number of new HIV infections globally, stigma, discrimination and a lack of education means HIV is still the number one cause of death in 10- to 19-year-olds in Africa. Prince Seeiso had earlier explained how important the work of Sentebale is in his own country.
Prince Seeiso said: “Lesotho faces profound challenges – and its children, one in three of whom are orphaned, suffer deeply as a result.
"Since my own childhood, our small nation has been ravaged by the HIV/Aids pandemic. Now 21,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 19 are living with HIV. Only 30 per cent of those have access to any treatment.”
Prince Seeiso also revealed that Prince Harry has been given his own African name by the people of Lesotho: Mohale, which means "warrior" in the local language.
News at Ten presenter Tom Bradby presented the acts, which also included singers Joss Stone and Laura Mvula.
Miss Stone said of the Prince: "I’m very proud of anyone that would do this and he’s just a lovely guy.
"I’ve come into contact with Harry and William for years now and we as a country we watch them grow and we watch them do lovely things and I thing all of us as a nation should be proud of those boys, those men. They are amazing and they represent who we are, our country, our land.
"And thank God they are the way that they are, I am proud of that, of all of them really, because they represent something beautiful.”
Sentebale delivers psychosocial support to adolescents living with HIV in Lesotho as well as providing care and education to orphans, children living with disabilities and young shepherds known as "herd boys".
Cathy Ferrier, chief executive of Sentebale, thanked the audience for showing their support, saying: “The world has committed to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 but ignorance and misunderstanding continues to undermine those efforts.
"Together we have an opportunity to end an epidemic that has defined public health for a generation but it won’t go away unless we act now.”