Behind the partying that will be the inevitable accompaniment of Prince William and Prince Harry’s visit to South Africa this week lies a much more sombre purpose. For Harry will be joined by his girlfriend Chelsy Davy as she returns to her homeland to comfort her grandmother following the death of her husband – a victim of Robert Mugabe’s brutal thuggery in Zimbabwe.

George Donald, a landowner in northern Zimbabwe, fell victim to Parkinson’s disease after he watched Mugabe’s men commandeer his farm and raze his house to the ground. He died virtually penniless at the age of 80.

Ian Donald, Chelsy’s uncle (mum Beverley’s brother) recalls how the vets plundered into their parents’ farm and home. “They discovered that their home had been vandalised. The roof was ripped off, every roof-tile had gone, every window had been chiselled out. Not a single thing was left and the farmstead was a shell.” He chronicles how their family struggled to build a second farm, and how the Davy brothers ultimately fled for Australia.

Of Charles Davy’s connection with the Mugabe regime, Ian Donald says Mr Davy has been hugely misrepresented by people who don’t understand how things work in Africa. ‘Or don’t want to understand. He adds that the reason Chelsy’s dad was able to hold onto some assets is due to his foreign investors – American links which the Zimbabwean government thought were too important to destroy.