The royal was on hand to watch members of the Basotho Youth Choir during their rehearsals at the prestigious Brit School ahead of their performance during Tuesday’s Sentebale charity concert at Kensington Palace.
The choir was being led by soul singer Stone, who is also part of the star-studded musical lineup. Harry quietly poked his head around the door and after being welcomed with an embrace by Stone, he said “Hi, guys.”
Urging the children to “enjoy it, big smiles,” he was then asked to join in by Stone, who said, “There s your note, Harry!”
The prince blushed and turned down the offer. “It’s not happening,” he replied. He appeared visibly moved as he listened to the choir perform two songs and smiled and danced along at times.
“Right Harry, your turn,” interrupted Stone.
“No, it s not my turn!” he replied.
“You have to lead by example, Harry,” she said, to which he retorted, “I learned years ago that I can t sing.”
“But you can break dance?” she asked.
“What? No! I can t,” he replied.
And he didn t spare the pop singer a little teasing either. Turning to the 12 children and said, “Hopefully for you, Joss will know the words by tomorrow.”
The singer is an ambassador for Sentebale, which Harry founded with Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso, to help young people affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.
As Harry greeted the excited children, he threw his arms around his good friend, Relebohile “Mutsu” Potsane.
“You well?” the prince asked. “How are you? Have you been having fun? London’s been looking after you.”
Mutu was 4 years old when Harry first met him during his 2004 gap year between leaving school and joining the Army.
The royal last met up with him at the opening of a new center for orphans in Africa last November.
Mutu was among six boys and six girls – aged 7-19 – who arrived from southern Africa to London – the furthest any of them have ever traveled.
The teen appeared delighted to see Harry again and presented him with cards and gifts from Lesotho, including a small model of a traditional hut and a framed set of three photographs of children helped by Sentebale, including one of himself as a child.
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Harry told him, “Oh sweet! Look at that. Look how small you were. Is the tree still there? Do you remember the little pear tree?”
During one of Harry’s first visits, he and Mutsu planted a tree together in at the children s center where they met.
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Also joining Tuesday’s musical lineup are Coldplay, British soul singer-songwriter Laura Mvula, African-Norwegian duo Nico and Vinz and BRIT Award-nominated spoken word artist and Sentebale ambassador George Mpanga, aka George the Poet. Up-and-coming classical-crossover soprano Alicia Lowes will provide pre-concert entertainment as guests arrive.
Argentine high-goal polo player, Nacho Figueras, has been added to the lineup and British journalist and novelist Tom Bradby will MC the event.
The 3,000 available tickets sold out in an hour when they went on sale in May.
The worldwide threat of HIV is one of the main causes that Harry has set himself to tackle as he focuses on a few key areas for his public work.
Lesotho, where Sentebale is based, has the second highest HIV infection rate and among the 21,000 young people aged 10-19 living with the condition, only 30 percent have access treatment.
Breaking down the stigma that stops young people seeking care is a major concern for the charity, and the concert is as much about raising awareness as it is raising funds.
Stone told reporters that the kids’ choir are “doing really well and they seem to have got it down before I got here. I added one thing and honed in on a few bits and bobs, but they were fine.
“It s a nice trip for the kids – that s the best thing. It s brilliant that they are getting to go on holiday. It will be very exciting for them. When I came up to see Buckingham Palace, aged eight or nine, I will never forget that, and I m English.
“We are so blessed, we have a magical land of fairytaledom.”