Prince Harry has arrived in Washington to accept a prestigious award for his humanitarian activities on behalf of wounded servicemen, an event which Palace aides are remorselessly spinning as the latest stage in Harry's sometimes choppy evolution from Playboy Prince to fully-formed, mature, working Royal. Palace sources have been busily briefing the Daily Telegraph that, “receiving an award from an internationally respected group like the Atlantic Council reflects his growing stature”.
Harry is expected to visit with wounded veterans this afternoon at the British Ambassador’s Residence, then, tonight he’ll be attending the awards dinner hosted by the Atlantic Council at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he will be presented with the gong for Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership, which, in 2010, was given to the Irish rock star Bono.
Harry, who is training as an Apache military pilot and is due to be deployed in Afghanistan this year, has worked with a number of military charities, including Walking With the Wounded, a British charity that retrains and re-educates veterans, Help For Heroes, which helps wounded servicemen and women and, most recently, his cousin-in-law Mike Tindall’s rugby charity.
The Atlantic Council is a Washington-based think tank, and tonight, at its annual award ceremony Harry will share a stage with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is also be to honoured at the gala dinner.
The award comes a month after Prince Harry’s transformative seven-day tour of the Caribbean carried out on behalf of the Queen, which saw him dancing to Bob Marley in blue suede shoes and racing Usain Bolt. Since he got back from the tour, however, Harry has not adopted a new lower and more sober profile as some had expected. He has been out and about and enjoyed several boozy late nights out in London, including a karaoke session with Mollie King of the Saturdays which led to rumours of a romance.