Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Prince Harry opens weeklong US visit

10 May 2013, 14:58

Washington - A buttoned-down Prince Harry joined Michelle Obama in honouring military families on Thursday and toured an exhibition in Congress about land-mines, opening a weeklong US visit devoted to the wounded victims of war. Shrieking onlookers gave him the pop-star treatment, but he was all royal business.

The British soldier-prince had one of America's most storied wounded warriors, the wisecracking Sen John McCain, at his side as he viewed a display of land-mine photos, maps and mine-detection equipment, staged by a charity held dear by his late mother, Princess Diana.

As the prince entered the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building near the Capitol, he was greeted by a roar and shouts of "Harry!" from a crowd of about 500 people, nearly all of them women.

They crowded a roped-off hallway and stairway with a view of the exhibit, hoisting their cellphones and tablets to get a picture. Harry didn't visibly react except to give a polite wave.

'Wild and raucous affair'

McCain, with a laugh, said he told Harry "I've never seen, in all the years I've been here, such an unbalanced gender crowd."

From there it was on to the White House for a previously unannounced visit with the first lady, Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill, and military mothers and children at an afternoon tea. Harry joined with the children in helping the kids make Mother's Day gifts from tulip and rose bouquets, vegetable chips and edible dough jewellery gathered in the State Dining Room.

For the prince, the Washington settings were a world away from the Afghanistan war zone where he recently served for 20 weeks as a co-pilot gunner in an Apache attack helicopter. It was just as far removed from his hijinks in a Las Vegas hotel room last summer, when fuzzy photos got out of a naked Harry playing strip billiards.

McCain, R-Arizona, who was shot down over North Vietnam and tortured as a captive, said he told the prince that "he was probably a much better pilot than I was".

As for the prince's reputation for cutting loose on occasion, McCain joked that the British diplomatic reception and dinner later in the evening was sure to be a "wild and raucous affair".

His mother's memory

It was a glittering one, at least, hosted by British Ambassador Peter Westmacott for about 30 guests after a reception for 170, many connected with the mine-clearing HALO Trust charity. Harry sat between Teresa Heinz, wife of Secretary of State John Kerry, and the ambassador's wife, Susie, for the dinner.

The prince invoked his mother's memory in remarks supporting the trust.

"My mother, who believed passionately in this cause, would be proud of my association with HALO," he told the attendees.

"In her special way, she adopted it as her own. She would join me - along with all of you, I'm sure - in praising HALO for the amazing work that it has done over the past quarter century, and in hoping that one day soon its humanitarian work will be done."

Diana highlighted the trust's work when she was pictured wearing a face mask and protective clothing during a visit to a minefield being cleared by the organisation in Angola in 1997.

Her son said that at any one time, the group has 7 000 people deployed in the field, "striving to protect people, and banish the fear that pervades the lives of millions around the world".

'People have forgotten about it'

Fiona Willoughby, marketing manager of the trust, said the prince's tour of the trust's exhibit brings attention back to the issue.

"People have forgotten about it, and we think Prince Harry, following in his mother's footsteps, is a worthy cause and will raise the profile of what we are doing," she said.

On Friday, the prince visits Arlington National Cemetery and Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre before flying to Colorado for the 2013 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs. More than 200 wounded servicemen and women from the US and Britain will participate.

Harry will also visit parts of New Jersey afflicted by Superstorm Sandy and stop for events in New York City before capping his visit by playing in the Sentebale Polo Cup match in Greenwich, Connecticut, on Wednesday.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...