The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex became joint Patrons for The Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund on 8th January 2009.
At the launch, The Duke of Cambridge said that it was one of the easiest decisions he had ever had to make:
"Having lost someone so close, in similar circumstances, Harry and I understand how important it is to keep their memory alive. There is no finer way than that, which Alex and Claire have chosen. This is the first charity of which we have both become patrons and it couldn’t have been a better one, as Henry was such a close friend of ours and because we believe so strongly in the need to alleviate poverty and assist development in African countries.”
The Duke of Sussex said, “As some of you know, Henry was one of my greatest friends and his death was truly shocking to many people. Henry would be so proud of his family and what they are doing in Uganda in his name. The way they are carrying on his memory is remarkable.”
The Princes became friends with Henry when they attended Ludgrove Preparatory School in Berkshire in the 1990s, with The Duke of Sussex and Henry studying together in the same year.
Both Princes have already raised funds for the charity over many years. The Duke of Cambridge is patron of Tusk Trust – a charity, which supports conservation, education and community development across Africa. The Duke of Sussex has shown his own interest in Africa by founding Sentebale in 2006 in Lesoto, to help children orphaned by AIDS. They have both been extremely generous to the HvSMF through raising money playing in charity polo matches and taking part in our annual Christmas carol services in St Luke’s Church, Chelsea. We are enormously grateful to them both for their support.