Prince Harry's U.S. Tour: Rolling Updates and all the News and Pictures as It Happens
16:40 So there it is folks. Prince Harry's tour of the USA is all done and dusted bar the counting of the money raised (the polo alone rasied a million bucks). I hope you had as much fun as I did - who knew Harry behaving could be as much fun as Harry misbehaving? - although I think probably none of us had as good a time as Harry himself. Expect this to be an annual event.
The presentations have just been taking place, with Ms Kurkova presenting Harry and his team with the trophy. Harry will NOT repeat NOT now be spending a few days privately in Atlantic City. He's head back home. Tonight. To Kensington Palace. Where a team of overweight bodyguards will take turns sitting on him and make sure he doesn't go near a bar for at least 48 hours.
As you can tell, I'm getting a bit delirious. Also, I am just about to exceed my tweet allowance. So I am going to go and wrap a cold compress around my head, like the Old Harry.
See you all tomorrow.
We reckon Harry will allow himself a glass of something bubbly on the plane back to Blighty this evening.
The million-dollar fundraising polo match has just finished, with Harry's Sentebale team winning 4 - 3.
The perfect end to a perfect tour. Congratulations, Harry.
15:11 The national anthems have been sung. Let battle commence. Un-fun fact: Polo is generally reckoned to be one of the most dangerous sports in the world.
Jack Kidd: "The horses are smashing into your legs, there’s sticks flying all over and the ball is made of a solid plastic composite – a very hard ball. Look at my lip – I lost all my front teeth from a ball in the face… and a few mallets in the mouth have left my lips a bit of a mess. You spend a lot of time in hospital when you play polo. It’s one of the top three most dangerous sports in the world."
14:56 Harry is now mounted and warming up....
13:23 Speaking about the scourge of HIV in southern Africa, Harry says: "We are trying to remove the stigma of HIV/Aids from a generation."
13:21 Harry is speaking now. "It just takes a single visit and you’re in love with Lesotho and its children," he says, and adds, "Thank you for a wonderful week. I have witnessed the extraordinary generosity of the people of this great nation".
12:56: What's Harry wearing? Jeans, a suit jacket and desert boots, of course.
12:53 Forecast is for rain to ease off. If pitch is sufficiently well-prepared (it will be) everything SHOULD be OK for 3pm start.
12:47 Even royal Princes can't arrange the weather. It's pouring in Connecticut and this is NOT GOOD. You can put studs on the horses shoes, but you can't play polo in very heavy rain.
12:30: He's arrived. Jennifer L Bruno just tweeted: "At Greenwich Polo Club with @TandCmag #royalsalutespc sponsor supporting Sentebale and just met Prince Harry!"
10 AM Update: Tickets for Harry's polo event this afternoon are like gold dust. Even Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has been left off the guest list.
A Malloy mouthpiece told the Greenwich Time the governor was not invited to the exclusive charity event Wednesday at the Greenwich Polo Club, but brushed off the snub, saying Malloy is "more of a hockey guy, anyway."
The match is the final event in the prince's six-day goodwill tour of the U.S., and will benefit Sentebale a charity Prince Harry co-founded to help impoverished children in the nation of Lesotho.
About 400 people are expected to attend.
Harry has complained before about the difficulty of finding a person to take on the job of being his girlfriend.
Luckily, he now has offers.
The best vignette from last night, however, comes courtesy of The Telegraph's Gordon Rayner who reports that Miss USA, Nana Meriwether, said she and Harry should get married.
The beauty queen said: "He is doing a wonderful job of representing your country here. Miss USA is like royalty in the States so I am really hoping to meet him. He is single, right? Well so am I. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we married. And he is very tall and good looking, I hear. Perfect. We are meant to be."
Wednesday 0500: Harry rounded off yesterday's packed program with a fundraising gala dinner with the American Friends of his foundation. Love this pic of will.i.am arriving.
The Black Eyed Peas star said: " If Harry was a movie character he would be Iron Man."
Harry gave a speech about his coaching initiative, Coach Core, saying, "We now have pilot schemes running in London and Glasgow in Scotland – and I am delighted to announce that funds raised this evening will support a similar programme to be run in partnership with Harlem RBI here in New York, and potentially others like it.
"It is exciting that Harlem RBI’s Project Coach and our Coach Core will be linked in this way, sharing experience and lessons learned to provide opportunity and inspiration to disadvantaged young people here and back home Britain. Sport and coaching really does change lives."
15:32 Head coach opens his speech saying: "Welcome Prince Henry of Wales, forever now known as Prince Harry of Harlem"
15:29 So Harry just played a few proper shots - and early reports (from the possibly biased UK consulate) are that he hit a home run.
15:23 Harry is looking on as the kids run bases.
15:20: Harry lines up the ball and takes a good crack at it! I am English, so I speak with no confidence, but it looks like he is hitting it off a giant golf tee.
"Shame the net's there, guys," he jokes.
15:17 Harry has just arrived in East Harlem where he is promoting a baseball program that has become a cornerstone in the community.
For more than 20 years Harlem RBI has been serving the neighborhood. The organization started by reclaiming an abandoned garbage filled lot and turning it into 2 baseball diamonds that would become true fields of dreams for disadvantaged kids in East Harlem.
13:55 Update Like a Moby back stage area, Prince Harry's tour of the US is an alcohol-free zone. We just saw a vintage illustration at the GREAT event promoting British trade. Harry's right-hand man Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton got him a glass of water. It was in a sort-of wine glass. Another aide literally peered into Harry's glass to check.
Not that we suspect he suspected Harry was trying to get a cheeky quaff. He was just being careful there's no slip-ups.
There was a palpable sense of disappointment as the crowd realised only Cameron was going to speak and they weren't going to get to hear from Prince Charming himself.
Harry is at an event promoting British trade, after arriving in New York on double decker bus with the British PM. He and Cameron were shown small model dolls of themselves linked to a tablet computer program. Watch reuters livestream here http://reuters.livestation.com/demo
11:50 Prince Harry has been showering praise on the way victims of superstorm Sandy have rebuilt their homes and lives, sayign: "It's the American spirit, everyone getting together and making things right. Its fantastic, its really good."
11:42 So Prince Harry is busy charming the pants off everyone in NJ. The British consulate just posted this cute video on Vine of Harry playing fairground games on the rebuilt boardwalk.
11:12 NJ Governor Chris Christie promised that nobody was going to get naked and he would be on hand to control Harry if need be, but this morning the big man of NJ politics seemed as starstruck as everyone else by the royal visitor. He tweeted this picture of himself giving Harry a 'royal fleece'.
Every one of Mantoloking's 521 homes was damaged or destroyed by Sandy last October, and scores of homes remain piles of rubble.
In Seaside Heights, which was the home to MTV's reality show "Jersey Shore," the prince will also get to see the community's rebuilt boardwalk, which is about two-thirds complete.
New Jersey sustained about $37 billion worth of damage from the storm. Mantoloking and Seaside Heights took the worst pummeling by Sandy's storm surge.
About 360,000 homes or apartment units in New Jersey were damaged by the storm, according to NJ.com
0932 No pictures yet but Harry is imminently due at the NJ town of Mantlooking at the beginning of the penultimate day of his US tour. Harry is in the town to see reconstruction of buildings destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, such as the boardwalk in Seaside Heights.
Pics here as soon as they drop, Royalists.
13:30 Meanwhile the Daily Mail is reporting that Prince Harry "popped to the pub" after booking out an English boozer for a private party for 40 people last night. The Mail is saying he was with friends but we think its more likely it was a semi-official function.
Slightly confusingly, E! says the guests were served red and white wine, but the Mail has a good picture of him quietly handing an aide a pewter ale mug as he approaches his car and realises he is being papped.
Sunday 13:15 MT: Welcome to our coverage of day four of Harry's tour to the US. Today looks like being the most chillaxed day so far, with Harry attending day two of the Warrior Games for injured serice personnel in Colorado. Yes, he's still a star, but possibly people are getting more used to him now.
Today Harry will be attending cycling, and, according to our eyes and ears on the ground in Colorado, H Wales Watch (whose tweets you can read on this page) there was a bit of a kerfuffle earlier when Harry was supposed to be activating an airhorn to set off the first race of the day but it didn't work. HWW also tells us that the announcer poitned out its mother's day today, and reminded Harry to call his grandmother (er, a bit tactless, perhaps?)
ince Harry started off the race saying "If you see someone with a Union Jack jersey, let him through."
It's baking hot there, so it's going to be an intense day for the athletes, fans and everyone involved.
We'll keep you updated with fresh pics and upates all day.
Here's one of the first agency pictures to drop so far, of Harry chatting to a hand cyclist before the big race.
14:36 Update (Colorado Time) Prince Harry has lit the cauldron to open the Warrior Games in Colorado, a sporting jamboree for injured servicemen.
Captain Wales received a pair of red trainers with the word Captain embossed on one heel and Wales on the other.
Harry spoke movingly about the dedication of troops, saying:: “In last 12 months since we met, I found myself serving alongside UK and US troops in Helmand Province...No matter the detail or the accents I witnessed at first hand the bravery of our troops."
11:46 Update Prince Harry has arrived at the Warrior Games and is in camouflage fatigues.
The ever-reliable Robert Jobson tweets that the prince 'fell flat on his face as members of sitting volleyball team laughed and joked with him' and also tweet that 'Prince Harry wants London Olympic Stadium to be used for Warrior Games for injured serviceman and women - like US's "Warrior Games."'
Saturday morning update:
Olympic swimming sensation Missy Franklin almost started screaming when she met Prince Harry at a Colorado reception last night.
Franklin, who won four gold medals and one bronze at London 2012,was clearly thrilled to meet Prince Harry, and her reaction confirmed his rock-star status.
Lucky for her, the rendezvous happened on her 18th birthday, and so she had the pleasure of having Prince Harry joining in a chorus of Happy Birthday as a cake was brought in for her.
She said: "I love the Royal Family. All my friends can't believe how lucky I am to be here. I think everyone just has so much respect for Prince Harry.”
According to a report in The Telegraph, the Prince was handed a glass of Pimm’s, and told one guest: “I didn’t realise you had Pimm’s in America,” but the glass was quickly taken away by the Prince’s principal private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.
Saturday morning summary:
Prince Harry is in Colorado for the opening ceremony of a Paralympic-style games for injured servicemen and women, on the third day of his US tour. Almost 300 injured servicemen and women from the UK and US are competing in the Warrior Games.
The prince will attend the opening ceremony, join some of the British athletes for brunch and watch a demonstration of a volleyball match. The Warrior Games are hosted every year by the US Olympic Committee.
1352 Update: Harry changed into military fatigues and headed over to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Bethesda, Md. this afternoon after leaving the national cemetery at Arlington.
Emphasizing that this trip is all about raising awareness (and funds) for war-injured soldiers, Harry spent time chatting with wounded veterans undergoing physical therapy at the premier military rehab center. Harry has made support for wounded warriors one of his special causes.
Shortly Harry is expected to get on a plane to Colorado Springs next where he'll cheer on vets at the Warrior Games. From there, he'll be in New Jersey and New York on Monday and Tuesday to tour Hurricane Sandy damage, promote British tourism and attend a charity fundraiser.
10:00 AM After yesterday's Harrymania, day two of the Royal tour of America has kicked off in a much more sombre fashion with Harry laying wreaths at the graves of a soldier and of John F Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery.
Harry also knelt on one knee and layed poppies at the grave of the unknown soldier as the last post was played.
Despite big crowds, the atmosphere was one of hushed respect as Harry laid a wreath amongst the never-ending rows of headstones, leaving a note expressing sympathy for his 'brothers in arms' who had made the 'ultimate sacrifice."
The headstone of US Army Specialist Michael L Stansbery Jr, who died in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan on July 30, 2010, aged 21, was chosen at random from the thousands of graves.
After placing the wreath the Prince stood to attention and saluted the grave, before walking alone through the rows of headstones surrounding it, pausing several times to read individual inscriptions.
Harry also laid a wreath at JFK's grave. The Prince made the gesture because November marks the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's assassination.
Dressed in the No.1 ceremonial uniform of his regiment, the Blues and Royals, with the blue beret of the Army Air Corps, Harry spent around five minutes at the grave, talking to Patrick Hallinan, superintendent of the cemetery.
Harry's whole trip is designed to be focused around helping the casualties of war and last night he launched a new appeal for the Halo trust, the anti-landmine charity founded by his mother, saying he thought she would be 'proud' of him.
Speaking about the trip before his departure, his Private Secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinketon said: "Prince Harry wants to highlight once again the extraordinary commitment and sacrifice of our injured servicemen and women, our 'wounded warriors'."
PREVIOUSLY: Prince Harry invoked the memory of his mother, Diana, last night as he gave a speech in support of anti-landmine charity the Halo Trust at a British embassy reception, saying Diana would be proud of him.
Diana became the most famous advocate of the charity when she was pictured wearing a clear plastic face mask at a minefield being cleared by the trust in Angola in 1997, shortly before her death.
"My mother, who believed passionately in this cause, would be proud of my association with Halo. In her special way, she adopted it as her own. She would join me, along with all of you, I'm sure, in praising Halo for the amazing work that it has done over the past quarter century, and in hoping that one day soon its humanitarian work will be done.
"At any one time, Halo has seven thousand de-miners in the field, striving to protect people, and banish the fear that pervades the lives of millions around the world.
"In Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Kosovo, in Somalia, Georgia and Armenia, the threat of landmines could be eradicated in the next five years, if funding can be sustained. If it were stepped up, in the next 10 years, countries like Cambodia, Angola, Colombia, Afghanistan, Burma and even Zimbabwe might have their landmine crises eliminated for good."
Harry's speech was the final engagement on an action packed day which saw him wow the Capitol and have a surprise visit with First Lady Michelle Obama.
Scroll down for yesterday's updates:
18:03 O.K. Someone has just tweeted the menu for Harry's dinner tonight at the British Embassy. He'll be starting with scallops and lime dressing, roasted veal for the main course (is veal still controversial? I can't remember) and summer pudding with vanilla cream for pud. Lovely.
Hey America, in case you hadn't heard—Harry's here.
The charming young prince has, in the last few minutes, been chatting with Michelle Obama in the White House (reporter's twitter pictures are now replaced by pro snappers) and earlier today he was supporting a cause embraced by his late mother - landmine abolition.
The First Lady welcomed the 28-year-old prince who was said to be a 'surprise guest' to her home on Thursday afternoon for a reception in honor of military mothers and their children.
Mrs Obama said: "As you all may know, Prince Harry is a captain in the Army Air Corps in the British Armed Forces," and added, “He wanted to be here to thank you for your service.”
Accompanied by Sen. John McCain, Harry visited Capitol Hill and viewed a photography exhibition staged by the anti-landmine organisation the Halo Trust which was closely associated with Diana.
Senator McCain said: 'He was kind of embarrassed [by the screaming], I think a normal reaction. I'm sure it's not the first time he has had that experience, but in all the years I've been coming here I've never seen such an unbalanced gender gap."
It is Harry's first return to the U.S. since being pictured naked during a game of strip billiards in a Las Vegas hotel.
"I probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down," he said in an interview after that unhappy event. "It was probably a classic example of me probably being too much army, and not enough prince."
The tour will give the Prince the chance to show that he has matured enough to take on a senior role in the royal family, as his grandmother cuts back on her workload.
Ahead of this latest trip, the prince's private secretary said Harry wanted to highlight "once again the extraordinary commitment and sacrifice of our injured servicemen and women—-our wounded warriors."
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton said: "Although a prince, Harry is also an operational soldier—indeed he's a soldier's soldier—therefore throughout this briefing the recurring theme is to help recognise and bring a spotlight on to the work being done to help these outstanding young men and women."