Six cities in seven days—Prince Harry’s whistle stop tour of the United States may not leave much time for princely touristing, or partying (insert naked Las Vegas joke here). For one thing, this trip is dripping in serious events, such as a visit to Arlington Cemetery and meeting wounded soldiers (an itinerary is at the bottom of this post). So it’s Harry at his most solemn and most charming, not revealing the most skin.
“He is a soldiers’ soldier and will bring a spotlight on what’s being done to help these outstanding men and women,” said Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, Harry’s private secretary during the pre-tour media briefing. There will certainly be no shenanigans on Lowther-Pinkerton’s watch—the ex-SAS officer is known for being very close to Harry, as well as William and Kate, and for running a very efficient, very photogenic royal tour (see Harry’s 2012 Jamaica trip—JLP is the man in the check shirt sitting beside Harry—and William & Kate’s Canadian adventure from 2011). Even New Jersey Governor Chris Christie got in on the act, saying, “Believe me, nobody’s going to get naked if I’m spending the entire day with Prince Harry” inspecting areas hit by hurricane Sandy.
So, upon his arrival in Washington, he focused on land mine issues with Sen. John McCain and supporting military families with Michelle Obama, the first lady. Left on the side lines were throngs of women, though they were squealing so loudly they’d surely inflict permanent damage on nearby security personnel. As the Washington Post reported: “Harry closely quizzed trust officials on mine-detection techniques and photos of amputees, keeping a somber if animated tone despite the swooning throng held back from the exhibit area. The prince ‘seemed to be a little—the word isn’t embarrassed—it was, I think, a normal reaction,’ McCain said. ‘I’m sure it’s not the first time.’ ”
Today, he visited Arlington Cemetery, laying a wreath—with the message, “To my comrades in arms of the United States of America, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of freedom, Captain Harry Wales.”—among the headstone of troops who were killed in Afghanistan, where Harry served two tours including the latest as an Apache attack helicopter pilot.
For those wanting to see more of laughing Harry, fear not. The weekend will include the Warrior Games and a cycling race at the Air Force Academy. After all, this is a prince who’s keen on sporting events. Who can forget his “race” with Usain Bolt?
Here’s the full itinerary courtesy of Hello:
Thursday 9th May – Washington
After arriving on a commercial flight from London, Prince Harry’s first stop will be Capitol Hill and an exhibition staged by the Halo Trust, a charity which helps to clear landmines and other debris of war. His late mother Diana, princess of Wales, was a patron of the charity and Harry has said that it’s important for him to continue his mother’s legacy.
Friday 10th May- Washington & Colorado Springs
Harry will visit Arlington National Cemetery where he will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He will then move on to the Walter Reed National Military Medical centre, where he will be given a tour of the prosthetics and rehabilitation centre for service personnel. Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton said that Harry wanted to highlight “our injured servicemen and women”.
The Prince will spend the evening Denver, Colorado where he will later attend an evening reception hosted by Beverly Simpson, Consul-General to Colorado.
Saturday 11th May- Colorado Springs
The Prince will spend the day at the Warrior Games, an event for more than 200 wounded, injured and ill servicemen and women. He will watch the opening ceremony, a volleyball match and will attend a brunch with the members of the British team. Last year, Prince Harry became a Team GB ambassador and attended many of the Olympic and Paralympic events at London 2012, with brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate Middleton.
It is the first time that Britain will compete in the Paralympic-style competition and Harry is known to be a big fan of the event. The Prince will then spent the evening privately with members of the British team.
Sunday 12th May – Colorado
The Prince will arrive at the US Air Force Academy, where he will watch a cycling competition.
Tuesday 14th May – New Jersey and New York
The Prince will start his day by visiting areas affected by Hurricane Sandy. Harry expressed a wish to visit “the hardest hit town in New Jersey” so he will stop at Mantoloking as well as Seaside Heights. Harry will visit around ten homes and meet residents who were affected by the hurricane.
After the touching visit to New Jersey, the Prince will travel to New York, where he will visit “socially and economically challenged” parts of the city and spend time playing baseball with local children.
Later that evening, Harry will wrap up his time in the big city with a dinner hosted by American Friends of The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, a foundation set up by the royal trio which support causes close to their hearts.
Wednesday 15th May- Connecticut
Prince Harry will complete his trip with a game of polo. He will attend the fourth annual Senteble Cup Polo Match, which will take place at the Greenwich Polo Club in Connecticut.
Prince Harry will captain the Sentebale Land Rover Team, while Argentine Nacho Figueras, who has been dubbed the “David Beckham of polo” will captain the St. Regis team.
The event is expected to attract celebrities and distinguished guests.
The event will benefit the Senteble charity, which Harry founded in 2007 with his friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to help vulnerable children in Lesotho.