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Kisses for Harry during Chile trip

Prince Harry has joked about kissing female admirers in Chile - after another request left him with lipstick on his face.

Asking the Queen's grandson for a peck on the cheek has proved a popular pastime for women of all ages, who have become smitten with their royal visitor during his tour of the South American country.

And when Harry visited a day centre for children with mental and physical disabilities in Santiago, he proved just as irresistible to the youngsters.

After kissing one admirer, the prince wiped the lipstick of his face and joked: "I've kissed so many girls, I don't know who it belongs to - today."

Harry spent around 45 minutes sitting, playing and interacting with children with a range of disabilities at the Fundacion Amigos de Jesus.

Its founder Gladis Ramirez, known affectionately as Popa, took the prince on a tour of the centre which grew out of the needs of a small group of women who, like her, had a disabled child and were frustrated at the lack of services available.

Harry made friends with many of the youngsters and high-fived a little four-year-old boy called Russel who has Down's Syndrome and was strapped into a stand as he played with some coloured bricks.

Harry's mother Diana, Princess of Wales was hugely popular in Chile and the affection people had for her, has been transferred to her son.

He proved an instant hit with many of the children, including Eileen Rivero, three, who gave him a big kiss on the cheek.

She was not the only one, at least two other children gave him a kiss.

Halfway through the visit, the Prince's private secretary Edward Lane-Fox noticed a smudge of lipstick on the prince's cheek. Dragging Harry to one side, he produced a tissue for him to clean up his face.

When he joined some of the children making alfajores - chocolate coated biscuits filled with a type of caramel - he gave them a helping hand.

Among the workers was Claudia Molina, 39, who asked for a kiss and received one, and she praised the Prince for looking like his mother, and as she said Diana she pointed upwards and put her hands together as if praying.

The charity, in a poor suburb of Santiago, provides day care for 65 disabled children whose parents work or are unable to take care of them during the day.

Eileen, who also has Down's Syndrome, was equally enthralled with the Prince as he sat on the floor next to her, playing the timeless children's game of giving him all her wooden toys one by one - "Is this all for me?" Harry asked her with a smile.

Talking to Amelie Bischoff, 19, a German student volunteering at the centre, he said: "It is amazing to think what is going on in their heads."

Then Eileen crawled over to Harry, and planted a large and enthusiastic kiss on his cheek.

Ms Bischoff said that when Eileen first came to the centre she could not walk. She can now walk with someone holding her hand, she said, and would soon be able to walk on her own.

Another volunteer, Sue MacLeod, the wife of the defence attache at the British Embassy, said: "You could tell he was genuinely moved. You could see it in his face when he is with the children."

Gesturing to Eileen, she added: "I said, 'I think you're going to be taking her home', and he replied, 'I think I will'."

At the end of the visit Harry was asked to make a short speech, but before he could take the microphone Pascal Vasquez, a seven-year-old girl with autism, grabbed it off him and ran around the garden babbling into it.

Finally he managed to get it back off her and said: "If I'm going to be allowed to say a few words. What you are doing here is absolutely amazing."

At that point Pascal decided she had had enough of Harry's speech, and took the microphone off him again.

"Tippy tippy tippy" she sang, running round the garden once more.

Before he left the children put on a dance show to the tune of the Katy Perry song Firework. It was a performance by boys in dinner suits and girls in long white dresses which ended with one girl, Dannae, 15, and her carer pulling Harry on to the stage to join in.

Harry called off his participation in the last event of the day - trail bike riding in the foothills of the Andes - after coming down with a bug.

Instead the Prince watched youngsters riding around close to a river bed and performing wheelies.

A Kensington Palace spokesman said that Harry was "under the weather" and also had a "splitting headache" and so would not join the children taking part in the motorbike lesson.

He watched as they demonstrated their skills at the Antawaya outdoor centre close to the capital.

Seven-year-old Calum Sweeting, whose mum Morag works at the British embassy in Santiago, said: "I said hello and then we showed off what we could do. It was exciting to see a prince."

Matius Houston, 11, of Santiago, on a Gas-Gas 800cc bike, added: "I said 'hi' but forgot my helmet so had to go and get it before the class."

The demonstration took place against the stunning backdrop of the Andes' snow-capped foothills, down a dusty track around an hour out of Santiago.

At one point one of the school children brought out their pet, an African pygmy hedgehog called Vlad, which Harry held.


From Belfast Telegraph