Skip to main content

More prince, less soldier: Prince Harry's next visit to the United States

By Max Foster, CNN
updated 12:31 PM EDT, Fri May 10, 2013
Prince Harry celebrates his 30th birthday on September 15. The prince has grown up in the public eye. Take a look back as the young prince matured into adulthood: Prince Harry celebrates his 30th birthday on September 15. The prince has grown up in the public eye. Take a look back as the young prince matured into adulthood:
HIDE CAPTION
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
Prince Harry through the years
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Prince Harry will be touring the United States, departing Thursday
  • His last trip, in August 2012 to Las Vegas, ended with naked photos published worldwide
  • Harry will not be stopping in Las Vegas this time
  • The prince will represent the interests of his charities and those of the United Kingdom

(CNN) -- Prince Harry's last visit to the United States, in August 2012, did not end well, after photographs of him romping naked around a Las Vegas hotel suite were published worldwide -- just weeks before he began his tour of duty in Afghanistan.

"I probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down," he said in an interview a few weeks later. "It was probably a classic example of me probably being too much army, and not enough prince." Harry argued at the time that it happened in a private area and that he should have been able to expect a certain amount of privacy.

Expect him to redress the balance then on his next visit to the United States, which begins on Thursday. And he won't be stopping in Las Vegas.

His Private Secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, has reassuringly confirmed that the prince will "fulfil his duties with his inimitable style in all he does."

Prince Harry continues Diana's legacy
Prince Harry goes to Washington
Senate staffers scream for Prince Harry
Prince Harry's memorable U.S. visits

He has a point. No-one does royal tours quite like Prince Harry, and he's clearly fond of the United States, visiting several times during the years, both in official and private capacities.

This is the prince who dispensed with handshakes when he met Jamaican prime minister Portia Simpson Miller in March 2012 and gave her a hug instead (he said he had heard that she liked hugs.) On the same day he also challenged Olympic multi-medallist Usain Bolt to a race and then went on to impersonate Bob Marley during a state dinner.

If there is a Usain Bolt moment in the U.S., it will be on a baseball diamond In New York on Tuesday. But striking a baseball isn't as easy as it looks -- has Harry been practicing? He is competitive and will at least be on more of a level playing field when he captains a polo team during a match in Connecticut on Wednesday. It's a sport he excels at, but such events are as much about socializing -- and Harry's presence is fast turning it into the society event of the year. This is, after all, the man who ultimately has the power to turn women into princesses -- or at least duchesses.

But Harry isn't coming to the United States to find a wife, officially at least. Instead, he's carrying out a dual role: representing the interests of his charities and those of the United Kingdom. He's a big asset for the British government, able to attract A-list political, corporate and showbiz guests to receptions at tour stops in Washington, Denver and New York.

A royal source has described his visit, which also includes a visit to a community devastated by Hurricane Sandy, as "gentle diplomacy." The source also tells me one core element of the tour will be the weekend Warrior Games in Colorado, which are best described as the Paralympics for injured and wounded war veterans. Lowther-Pinkerton, himself a former special forces officer, describes Harry as a "soldier's soldier" who wants to highlight the commitment and sacrifice of "our wounded warriors."

Like any serving officer, Harry will have at the back of his mind that one day he could be wounded in combat. Expect then to see a very sombre and thoughtful Prince Harry/Captain Wales in ceremonial uniform when he lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery Thursday. For Prince Harry is a soldier and a prince: both will be on duty for this tour, if a bit more prince than during his last visit.

And those lucky enough to meet him shouldn't forget to ask if his pregnant sister-in-law Kate -- the Duchess of Cambridge -- is expecting a girl or a boy this summer. That would create headlines -- and for much happier reasons than last time.

READ MORE: Prince Harry: Once more unto the breach?

READ MORE: Prince Harry on Afghan mission: 'Take a life to save a life'

READ MORE: No Full Monty for Prince Harry and Chris Christie

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:54 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
updated 7:24 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
updated 1:44 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
updated 8:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
updated 12:06 PM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
updated 3:22 AM EST, Tue December 23, 2014
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
updated 4:00 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
updated 6:34 AM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
updated 12:46 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
updated 9:51 PM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
updated 11:21 AM EST, Sat December 20, 2014
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
updated 12:01 PM EST, Mon December 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT