-- Prince Harry has taken up where his mother left off and has become the "Prince of Hearts," touching children wherever he goes with his easy charm, encouragement and support.
The prince, 29, is traveling on a week-long tour of Brazil and Chile, exploring some of the most depraved areas in South America and speaking with some of the most vulnerable children
“This is my second visit to Brazil and I am delighted to have the opportunity to explore a little more of this wonderfully vibrant and fascinating country," Prince Harry said in a speech at a reception to mark the official birthday of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
During Harry’s visit to Sao Paolo, he was touched by the story of a grandmother who is raising her grandchildren because their mother is addicted to crack in Sao Paolo’s infamous Cracolandia, or "Crackland."
“Some of the children’s stories in Diadema have reduced me to tears, but the smiles on their faces show the positive impact their community in having on them and the success of ACER [The Association for Support for Children at Risk]," he said.
It was two sisters whose grandmother is raising them as orphans after their mother's murder and their father's incarceration on drug charges that really devastated Harry, who lost his own mother, the late Princess Diana of Wales, to a car crash in 1997 when he was 12.
“There are two little girls - I'm quite emotional - just looking at them," Prince Harry, who rarely talks about losing his mom, told the U.K.'s The Telegraph. "I wanted to talk about my own experiences but there is not point because it is just so far removed."
"I wanted to use my experiences in a very small way to try to give them a bit of understanding that I see what you’re going through, but you hear the stories and think that’s nothing to what they have been through," he said.
During his time in Brazil, Prince Harry has been on a royal charm offensive that has included watching a wheelchair basketball game at a hospital for children with neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and cerebral palsy and canoeing with some of the patients on Brazil’s Lake Paranoa.
Harry spent the day Wednesday playing soccer with underprivileged children and showed off his royal sense of humor when he planted the traditional tree in the country’s rainforest, joking “Planting trees, it's what we do.”
Prince Harry also joined in the World Cup mania surrounding his trip to Brazil, watching a match of his beloved England team and wishing the host country success.
“What we invented, Brazil perfected," Harry said of soccer, or futbol. "In the U.K. we would like to think of this as an act of typical British generosity but, in truth, it is more an act of typical Brazilian creativity, which I hope will bring you huge success in your World Cup."