Prince Harry goes to Botswana to ‘calm down’ claims expert
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Prince Harry has thanked two of his close friends from Botswana in his memoir ‘Spare’, set to release officially on Tuesday, January 10. The Duke of Sussex’s connection to Botswana has become well known in recent years, as he has said it is where he travelled to grieve after his mother Princess Diana died and also travelled there with his wife, Meghan Markle when the pair first began dating.
The Telegraph has reported that The Duke of Sussex has thanked his close friends, Mike Holding and Tania ‘TJ’ Jenkins, in the acknowledgement section of his highly anticipated memoir.
The pair run a documentary production company AfricScreen, which specialises in wildlife programmes and is famously known for making David Attenborough’s BBC Planet Earth series.
They also made an appearance in the first episode of Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s Netflix documentary which was released last month.
Prince Harry is understood to have met the pair when he first began visiting Botswana when he was younger, as he told reporters he first visited the country after his mother Princess Diana passed away in order to deal with grief and connect to himself.
According to Hello Magazine, he said: “I came here in 1997 or 1998 straight after my mum died, so it was a nice place to get away from it all.”
Prince Harry has said he feels “deeply connected” to Botswana since he discovered it during one of the most difficult times of his life.
The country became a part of his relationship with Meghan Markle, as they visited Botswana when they first began dating in 2017 and her engagement ring features a huge diamond from Botswana as well as two diamonds from Princess Diana’s private collection.
He said: “Fifteen years I’ve been coming here, it’s a sense of escapism – a real sense of purpose… I have some of my closest friends here over the years.”
Prince Harry has suggested that his friends Mike Holding and Tania Jenkins in Botswana are a “beloved second family” to him.
In a previous interview, before he stepped back as a senior royal, Prince Harry said: ”Botswana is a country very close to my heart. The fact that I spend more time here than at home worries my father a lot.”
He is then shown saying: “I’ve got a second family out there. A group of friends that literally brought me up,” while the footage then cuts to a picture of Mike Holding and Tania Jenkins on what appears to be a safari tour.
Royal experts have also noted that the familial relationship between Prince Harry, Mike Holding and Tania Jenkins over the years
Journalist and royal correspondent Katie Nicholl, author of Prince Harry’s 2018 biography ‘Harry: Life, Loss and Love’ wrote that Tania Jenkins had “formed a close bond”.
She wrote: “Friends say Harry jokingly refers to her as ‘mom’ because she looks out for him when he is in the country.”
Roger Dugmore, a long-term friend of Harry, described Tania Jenkins as being “like a mother” as well as being “ very organised”.
He said: “She’s a very well-grounded woman. When Harry comes out Tania does help a lot with the logistics with regard to trying to keep it as quiet as possible.”
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The Telegraph reported that another close friend of Prince Harry said he refers to Mike Holding as “Uncle Mike”.
In regards to Tania Jenkins, the friend said: “Harry adores TJ and they are very close.
“He has a lot of good friends in Botswana, they are a bit like a second family to him.
“Botswana is his home away from home. Harry loves it there more than anywhere else on earth.”
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