News Column

Prince Harry to Pay First Visit Since Naked Billiards Shenanigans

May 9, 2013

Britain's Prince Harry on Thursday was to start a seven-day trip to the United States, his first visit to the country since he was photographed naked in Las Vegas playing billiards.

The prince is to use the trip to promote the sporting achievements of wounded soldiers and would include a trip to the Warrior Games, a Paralympics-style competition.

"Prince Harry wants to highlight once again the extraordinary commitment and sacrifice of our injured servicemen and -women - our wounded warriors," a royal spokesman said.

"Although a prince, Harry is also an operational soldier," he said, adding that the visit was intended "to help recognize and bring a spotlight onto the work being done to help these outstanding young men and women."

Harry is to begin the trip in Washington, where he is to visit Capitol Hill and a photography exhibition put on by the anti-landmine charity the Halo Trust, with which his mother, Princess Diana, was involved.

Harry is a patron of the organization and is to be shown around the exhibition by senator and former presidential candidate John McCain.

At the weekend, Harry is to attend the opening ceremony of the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, where he is to meet competitors and watch the volleyball and cycling events.

His trip would also take him to New York, where he is to attend a charity baseball event connected with the Royal Foundation, which he runs together with his brother and sister-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The prince is to lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, a military cemetery outside Washington; visit survivors of last year's Superstorm Sandy; and on his final day take part in a charity polo match.

The tour is set to show Harry as a responsible and hardworking royal after the embarrassment caused in August when pictures of him naked in an 8,000-dollar-a-night hotel room in Las Vegas were published in the tabloids.

He had "let himself and his family down," he said in January when he returned from his second tour of service in Afghanistan. The prince is an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner.

Harry's visit also comes days after Buckingham Palace said it was reviewing how much long-haul travel 87-year-old Queen Elizabeth II would be undertaking in future.

Heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles is set to represent her at a meeting of Commonwealth leaders in November in Sri Lanka, the first time in 40 years the queen would miss such a summit.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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