Britain's Prince Harry's life was left with a "gaping hole" when his mother died.
The 31-year-old royal - whose mother Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris when Harry was just 12-years-old - understands the loss felt by African children all over the continent who have had their loved one's "snatched away" suddenly.
Speaking at the official opening of Sentebale's Mamohato Children's Centre in Lesotho, he said: "Although our situations couldn't have been more different, I felt an overwhelming connection to many of the children I met. They were far younger than me, and of course, their situation was a great deal more challenging than my own.
"Nonetheless, we shared a similar feeling of loss, having a loved one, in my case a parent, snatched away so suddenly. I, like them, knew there would always be a gaping hole that could never be filled. For so many of the children in Lesotho, that situation was compounded by the harsh environment and extreme poverty they faced.
"At the age of just eight or nine taking on the responsibility of caring for brothers and sisters there was simply no time for being a child anymore."
However, despite his huge loss, the Prince admits his "worries" were put into perspective by his visit to the African village in 2004.
He added: "Experiencing this first hand in 2004 put all my experiences and worries into perspective. From that moment, it wasn't a question of when but how quickly could we put something in place which could help these children, robbed of the carefree childhood many across the world enjoy."