Prince Harry to attend The Lion King premiere as Disney pledges to support his conservation work

Hannah Furness
The Lion King 2019 - © 2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

He has confessed to watching it more than 20 times, being able to recite the words and songs from heart and calling it his favourite film. 

At the age of 34, the Duke of Sussex will put his lifelong love of The Lion King to good use, as it is announced Disney's new blockbuster film will directly benefit his conservation work. 

The European premiere of the all-star updated version of The Lion King will be held “in support of the conservation and communities work of His Royal Highness through The Royal Foundation”, a spokesman said. 

The evening, on Sunday, July 14, will see the Duke attend the Leicester Square launch, along with celebrities Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Seth Rogen, Alfre Woodard, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Kani and John Oliver.

As VIP guests arrive on the red carpet, the Duke will meet cast and crew before taking his seat for the film.

Both Meghan and Harry are fans of the film Credit: Getty

The premiere will tie in with Disney’s Protect the Pride initiative, already announced in conjunction with the film, which has seen them donate $1.5m to the Lion Recovery Fund and its partners with plans to double it with the help of fans. 

The Duke is patron of African Parks and aides have indicated conservation will be at the heart of the Sussexes new charitable foundation, due to be set up later this year. 

In the autumn, he will travel to South Africa, Angola, Malawi and Botswana on tour, with engagements expected to focus heavily on the countries’ wildlife and environment. 

Earlier this month, it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be leaving the Royal Foundation.

Until they set up their own charitable vehicle, funds can be collected under the Foundation banner and ring-fenced for their own projects. 

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “Through the work of His Royal Highness, The Royal Foundation is committed to advancing community conservation efforts across Africa and around the world, working with communities to ensure a sustainable future for the planet. 

“The Duke of Sussex has taken a deep personal interest in frontline conservation projects that work to protect Africa's natural heritage and support both wildlife and local communities.”

The Hollywood Reporter, the film industry magazine, predicted The Lion King would at least equal the success of Disney’s 2017 live-action Beauty and the Beast which made more than $1bn.