News Column

Prince Harry Rides in Charity Polo Match

May 15, 2013

G England's Prince Harry burnished his image and filled his charity's coffers Wednesday, ending a one week tour of the U.S. at a charity polo match.

The prince, third in line to the throne, played an aggressive game at the Greenwich Polo Club with his team, the Sentebale Land Rover Squad, which won 4-3. The prince wore No. 1 on his baby blue shirt and was the only player in short sleeves despite cool weather.

The match was the climax of a star-studded day both on and off the field.

Among those playing on the field in the match between Sentebale and St. Regis were Dawn Jones, wife of actor Tommy Lee Jones, and well known Argentine player Nacho Figueras.

Prince Harry arrived in the United States a week ago and has made stops from Colorado Springs to New York City, a jaunt aimed at events benefiting charities, including his Sentebale. The charity, founded with Lesotho Prince Seeiso, provides assistance to impoverished children in the small African country.

``It's been a brilliant trip,'' said Arthur Edwards, a London newspaper photographer who covers the royal family and who has been photographing Prince Harry since he was born.

"He embarrassed himself, the queen, his father, his family and the country with the Las Vegas incident," Edwards said referring to nude photos of the prince that surfaced during his last trip to the United States. 'He won't be doing that again."

Harry arrived at the Greenwich Polo Club shortly before noon EDT to cool weather, showers, 400 guests and 200 members of the media who couldn't wait to get a glimpse of royalty.

Third in line to the British throne, the prince arrived wearing a navy blazer, suede desert boots and jeans and was whisked into the club's impressive stone clubhouse where he spent more than an hour before heading across the field to the formal program that included speeches and an auction.

Most of those invited to the fashionable fundraiser dined in tents with linen-covered tables with hydrangea and peony arrangements. The menu included passed hors d'oeuvres of one-bite lobster rolls, miniature Maryland crab cakes and crispy potato gaufrette with creme fraiche and Osetra caviar, followed by a main course of grilled pepper filet of beef and homemade ricotta gnocchi. Desserts included English favorites such as lemon curd tarts with mixed berries and mixed berry trifle.

Celebrity sightings were thin, mainly because a burst of heavy rain deterred red carpet strolls and instead prompted celebs to huddle under umbrellas and scurry to the nearby tents.

"It's too cold to stand out here," one VIP guest yelled over to the line of waiting media as she bypassed pictures to get inside the tent.

Among those celebs who did pose for pictures and interviews were designer Jason Wu, whose attained fame after he began designing for first lady Michelle Obama.

"A couple of years ago I knew nothing about polo," he quipped. "But now I consider myself a novice."

Among those who attended were supermodels Erin Heatherton, Karolina Kurkova, her husband Archie Drury and model Olivia Hueble.

Security was tight at the polo club with both private security and Greenwich police carefully patrolling the property and checking credentials as guests and press arrived.

"Now this is a party," quipped one guest as he stepped out of his limo and came face to face with the bank of U.S. and international media that jockeyed for space to document the arrivals of the guests.

Clearly pleased with the media attention was club founder billionaire Peter Brant who said he was proud and privileged to host the fundraiser.

And as far as the star power the prince brought with him to a club known for its A list of members and guests?

"Well, we did have Leonardo DiCaprio Sunday," said Brant. "But having Prince Harry here is pretty impressive to me."


(c)2013 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

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Source: Copyright Hartford Courant (CT) 2013

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