Prince Harry has returned to the South African country of Lesotho to rebuild a school which teaches children with physical and mental disabilities.

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The 23-year-old royal – who spent his gap year in the developing country in 2004 – will be joined by 26 soldiers from the Household Cavalry Regiment as he spends the next three weeks fitting the Thuso Centre with wheelchair ramps, a new roof and a security fence.

Harry’s project is being supported by his charity Sentebale, which he set up with Prince Seeiso, the youngest brother of Lesotho’s King Letsie III, which specifically helps AIDS orphans.

Harper Brown, the country director of Sentebale, said the AIDS epidemic is getting worse every day.

He said: “We are dealing with a generation growing up without parents. HIV Aids is the single biggest problem in this country and it’s going to wipe out this nation unless it is addressed.”

Harry and the soldiers will provide 360 days of free labour in total, which will save thousands of pounds from its final cost.