Britain’s Prince Harry stayed at the village home of a former Nepalese Gurkha soldier who had served in the British army Monday as the prince continues his tour of the Himalayan nation.
The prince flew to the Leurani village, northwest of the capital Kathmandu, Monday where he spent time with the villagers dancing and later feasting with the family of Mangali Tamang, 86-year-old widow of a former soldier.
Villagers lined up the trail to the village offering flowers and cream-colored scarf which is offered to special guests. He stopped to visit two families who are building their homes after it was destroyed in last year’s earthquake.
Press Association said Tamang was overjoyed to have her guest and, following Nepalese custom, referred to the royal as “king”: “I’m very happy. I cried ‘when I die I can say I talked to the king of a foreign land’.”
“I could do nothing, put a garland of flowers around him and then I blessed him,” Tamang was quoted as saying. “I blessed him so that he may live to be 100 years and all his wishes become fulfilled, and where he goes success will follow him.”
Nepal abolished centuries-old monarchy in 2008 and Harry is the first British royal to visit Nepal since then.
Heavy rainfall with hailstorm did not dampen the celebration of the villagers.
Harry has close relations with the Gurkhas, Nepalese men who have served and fought nearly every war for the British army for two-centuries. Harry even served with a Gurkha battalion in Afghanistan.
Earlier on Monday, he flew to Bardia national park home to rhinos and tigers where he talked about conservation.
He spent hours discussing the local conservation officials and villagers about the tigers and even rode on a boat.
Harry is on a five-day trip to Nepal where he already met the president, prime minister, attended an official function to mark 200 years of friendship between Nepal and Britain.
The highlight of his trip was visiting the earthquake damaged areas and highlighting reconstruction efforts.
He visited with families living in tents at a camp in Nepal for people made homeless by last April’s devastating earthquake, toured old palaces and temples that were damaged.
The earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people and destroying about 1 million homes. There has been little to help the victims even a year after the earthquake.