Desmond Tutu offers Harry tea and praise for Africa charity work

Prince Harry Presents Desmond Tutu with Prestigious Award

Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu has praised Prince Harry for his charity work in the impoverished country of Lesotho as he was presented with a major award.

Harry began a four-day tour of South Africa by sitting down to informal talks over tea with the Noble Peace prize winner and his wife in Cape Town.

The prince was in Lesotho last week opening his Sentebale charity's landmark £2 million children's centre for vulnerable youngsters and at the weekend played in a charity polo match in aid of his organisation.

The archbishop emeritus told the prince: "I am very touched by your commitment to Lesotho. I taught at the university there and became Bishop of Lesotho.

"It has always had a very soft spot in our hearts, just wonderful that you and the English are helping, thank you very much."

Mr Tutu's lifetime commitment to peace was recognised when Harry presented the retired archbishop with the Order of the Companion of Honour, an award given to leading individuals for outstanding achievements in arts, culture and religion.

Previous recipients include Sir John Major, Lucian Freud, Sir David Attenborough and Harold Pinter, but several honours are reserved each year for recipients from commonwealth countries.

Harry had arrived at the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation on the Cape waterfront during the mid morning.

Dressed in a navy suit and light blue patterned tie, he entered the room behind the diminutive cleric, the former Archbishop of Cape Town, who won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in trying to reconcile warring communities during apartheid.

Mr Tutu, dressed in his usual black and crimson clerical vestments with a heavy cross around his neck, appeared frail but smiled broadly.

The 83-year-old has been in and out of hospital on recent months suffering from infections related to prostate cancer.

Both men stood as Mr Tutu's wife Leah, who walks with a cane, entered the room and was seated.

The prince tried to usher Mr Tutu into a chair but he waved him away, announcing: "I can stand for a long time!"

Before eventually taking a seat offered by the 31-year-old royal, he then sat beside him at a long table where they had tea. "Much more civilised," the prince remarked.

The two men reminisced about when they last met and recalled that it was at a service of remembrance for Nelson Mandela at Westminster Abbey in March 2014.

When the senior cleric paid tribute to Harry's charity work, the prince replied: "You will have to come and visit one of our projects," and the archbishop smiled.

The media were then ushered from the room as around 20 members of staff sitting in a circle introduced themselves and explained their work.

There were howls of laughter heard from outside as Mr Tutu and a smiling Harry interjected from time to time.

A spokesman for the prince said Mr Tutu talked more about Lesotho and his time teaching at the university, and how much potential he believes the country has.

Rev Canon Mpho Tutu, the retired archbishop's daughter, talked about charities, civil society and governments working in partnership to overcome "silos in development" - the prince said this was a focus of his charity Sentebale.

They also discussed how Mr Tutu established the model of interfaith delegations in conflict mediation now used around the world.

Mr Tutu thanked the prince for the Queen's continued support for the commonwealth model and its ability to bring groups together.