Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Harry wins friends on US visit

Prince Harry speaks to a competitor during the Warrior Games cycling event at the US Air Force academy base in Colorado Springs
Prince Harry, bottom row second left, takes part in a cheerleading display at the US Air Force Academy base in Colorado Springs

Prince Harry has won over many Americans during his tour of the US, with humour, charm and a down to earth nature that has seen him game for anything.

When he first arrived he was deafened by screaming fans in Washington and has continued to win hearts as his seven-day tour has progressed.

US swimmer Missy Franklin, a four-time Olympic gold medallist, summed up the feelings of most after meeting Harry, saying: "He's an inspiration, the way he gives back speaks volumes."

The tour has showcased the Prince as a modern, hard-working royal in contrast to last summer's high-profile gaffe when he was photographed nude during a "strip billiards" party in a £5,000-a-night hotel in Las Vegas.

The royal is travelling from Colorado state to New York so there are no official engagements on Monday.

But the Prince has already visited the White House where he received glowing praise from first lady Michelle Obama last Thursday, for serving his country as an officer in the British Army and for supporting America's wounded servicemen and women.

Harry spent the weekend promoting America's Warrior Games where British servicemen and women have been competing in Paralympic-style events against a large US team and troops from other countries.

In a speech given ahead of the Warrior Games' opening ceremony on Saturday, the Prince spoke about his desire to create a similar event in the UK. He said: "I only hope in the future, the near future we can bring the Warrior Games to Britain and continue to enlarge this fantastic cause."

Bryn Parry, co-founder of forces charity Help For Heroes, which has funded the British team's participation in the games, said that with Harry's help an international competition for wounded servicemen could take place in London next year.

On Tuesday, survivors of Superstorm Sandy will welcome the Prince to New Jersey and later Harry will attend an event in New York supporting the Great campaign, a government initiative which promotes the UK around the world on the back of the success of the Diamond Jubilee and London 2012. Harry will also attend a baseball event in the Big Apple as he promotes a sports programme involving his Royal Foundation.

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