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Prince Harry loses match, wins over New York

By Andrea Mineo, Special to CNN
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Prince Harry charms New York
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Prince Harry wows New York with polo play, wins support for his charity Sentebale
  • Son of Diana and Charles impresses spectators
  • Gayle King: "Knowing he was here was definitely a draw for me"

New York (CNN) -- Some 10,000 people traveled by ferry to New York's Governors Island to watch a prince play the sport of kings.

His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales -- or Prince Harry as he's known throughout the world -- made his second trip to the Big Apple over the weekend. Among his activities: polo.

With Manhattan skyscrapers in the distance, Harry faced off against the sport's resident sex symbol and captain of the Black Watch Polo team, Nacho Figueras. Figueras is also the face of Ralph Lauren Polo fragrances. The two men and their teams took part Sunday in the third annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic.

The event was more than an excuse to people-watch and sip French champagne -- though some 5,000 bottles were poured. For Prince Harry, it was an opportunity to bring awareness and raise money for Sentebale, the charity he founded along with Lesotho's Prince Seeiso to help the orphans of Lesotho and those affected by HIV/AIDS. The event on Governors Island benefited the American Friends of Sentebale.

Video: Prince Harry tumbles off polo pony
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"With your support, the 400,000 orphans and vulnerable children of Lesotho, nearly one quarter of the population of that country, can find hope where there is none, a future out of bleakness," the prince told a crowd gathered in the royal tent.

There were several members of U.S. royalty -- that is, celebrities -- who made the trip over.

"Knowing he was here was definitely a draw for me," said Gayle King, O Magazine editor-at-large and Oprah Winfrey pal. "There's something about the royals starting with Princess Diana. So many of us in this country admired her, myself included. And it's just great to see how her children have turned out, you know?"

Musician Rob Thomas said, "I think he carries on a legacy that Diana started. There was a perception shift to the royal family when Diana came in and the fact that they could be so generous and they were kind of globally minded. I think that he carries that on."

Model Carol Alt, however, was blunter about Prince Harry's appeal.

"I think he's the cutest," she gushed.

While Harry pleased the crowd off the field, he took a tumble during the match. The prince fell off his horse and eventually landed on his backside. While the spectators gasped and "oooohed," he seemed to take the fall in stride.

"It's in the family so you know they're very good horsemen, and he's a good polo player," said Nicolas Roldan, who captained the Sentebale Black Rock team for Harry.

When it was over, Prince Harry's team had come up short in the victory column. But he could post another kind of win: He had certainly charmed New York.