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Harry in running for Bolt meeting

Prince Harry is hoping to line up on the starting blocks next to sprinter Usain Bolt during his diamond jubilee tour of the Caribbean and Central America.

The prince plans to meet the world's fastest man at his training base when the royal visits the Jamaican capital of Kingston next month.

It is expected that Bolt, who defends his Olympic 100-metre title at London 2012 this summer, will give Harry a few pointers about starting a sprint but - luckily for the royal - not actually race him.

The second-in-line to the throne is said to be "bouncing" in anticipation of his first solo overseas tour on behalf of the Queen to mark the monarch's 60-year reign.

He will tour Belize, the Bahamas and Jamaica - the sovereign's realms, countries where she is head of state - from March 2 to 8 and then travel to Brazil from March 9 to 11, an additional leg separate from the jubilee celebrations and undertaken in support of the UK Government and his charity Sentebale.

Harry's private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton said the second-in-line to the throne would bring his own "brand of enthusiasm and energy" to events during the tour.

He said: "Prince Harry is really bouncing about this tour, that's the first thing to say. He's hugely, hugely looking forward to it."

The private secretary added: "The realms are personally chosen for Prince Harry by Her Majesty, who has visited the countries many times during her 60-year reign. Through Prince Harry the Queen will be formally extending her good wishes to Belize, Bahamas and Jamaica on the historic occasion of her diamond jubilee."

Military engagements feature heavily as do events with young people and children, and events where the prince will get involved in physical activities. In Brazil, Harry will take part in the Sentebale Polo Cup - a fundraising match on behalf of his charity which helps disadvantaged children in the southern African kingdom of Lesotho.

Last month, Jamaica's new prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, vowed to abandon the Queen as head of state and adopt a republican form of government. Harry will meet her before a state dinner held at the official residence of Governor-General Sir Patrick Allen, the Queen's official representative in the country. Mr Lowther-Pinkerton said the issue of whether the nation remains one of the monarch's realms or follows a different path is something for the country's people and government but stressed that the prince would be taking the "good wishes of the Queen of Jamaica to the Jamaican people".


From Belfast Telegraph