Prince Henry led the way in sponsoring exploration for Portugal. First, his navigators discovered and claimed the Madeira and Azores islands to the west and southwest of Portugal. By 1415, Portugal had expanded into Muslim North Africa, seizing the port of Ceuta.Prince Henry's sponsorship is the most important event because it sparks the whole movement. After countries see Portugal's success, they also begin exploring. Without Prince Henry's sponsorship, countries may not have explored.