May 9th, 2013
08:15 PM ET
2 years ago

Screaming women greet Prince Harry at start of buttoned-up U.S. tour

Washington (CNN) – The arrival of Prince Harry on Capitol Hill Thursday prompted what appeared to be a mass exodus of women from their congressional offices, all hoping to catch a glimpse of the third-in-line to the British throne.

Harry's visit to the Russell Senate Office Building was the first official stop on his nearly week-long tour of the United States, which will highlight the military charities that the prince, himself an Army helicopter pilot, has chosen to patronize.

On Capitol Hill Harry toured an an exhibit on clearing landmines alongside Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who himself is a hero of the Vietnam War. The solemn subject was made somewhat lighter by the occasional hoots from the crowd of mostly female spectators snapping a picture of the prince on cellphones. The hundreds of young women were kept at bay by security personnel.

Afterwards, McCain said Harry had what he called a "normal" reaction to the women there to greet him.

"I'm sure it's not the first time that he's had that experience," said the Arizona Republican, who added that Harry seemed genuinely interested in the landmine exhibit.

"He wasn't just asking cosmetic questions," McCain said. "He was asking in-depth questions."

He spent roughly 20 minutes viewing the informational posters and assessing the mannequins set up to display specialized suits worn by landmine detectors. He chatted with McCain and Guy Willoughby of the HALO Trust, and inquired about various aspects of the mine detection equipment, including its cost.

After the prince left Capitol Hill, McCain said he found the prince "a very attractive young man, and I think he's very serious about this issue. I was very impressed."

Eliminating landmines was also a cause championed by Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana of Wales. One of the most enduring images of the princess shows Diana walking through a minefield in Angola wearing a protective vest.

That vest bore the logo of the HALO Trust, the same organization sponsoring the exhibit Harry visited Thursday. During a dinner held Thursday evening at the Embassy of Britain in Washington, Harry said his mother would be "proud" of the work HALO continues to do on eliminating the weapons from nations around the world.

Harry also stopped Thursday at the White House, where first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, were hosting a tea honoring military moms.

“Surprise!” Mrs. Obama said as Harry entered the room. The prince helped children at the event prepare gifts for their mothers, who were gathered in the State Dining Room.

At night he attended a reception at the British Embassy. He first participated in a large receiving line, greeting guests that included Rep. John Dingell, D-Michigan; former Sen. Max Cleland, D-Georgia; Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri; Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia; and Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vermont.

The prince spent several minutes speaking with an Army Colonel Greg Gadson, a double amputee who was injured in Iraq in 2002, according to pool reports. The prince has served with international forces in multiple deployments to Afghanistan.

Harry also chatted with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

British Ambassador to the U.S. Peter Westmacott made a few remarks to the guests, with Harry at his side.

A smaller group of 37, including Harry, moved on to dinner. Speaking briefly from notes on a podium stand, Harry paid tribute during the intimate meal to the HALO Trust, noting that 23 workers have died on the job in the past 25 years.

Harry thanked the U.S. for being the largest supporter of landmine humanitarian work, nodding to the "charitable instincts" of Americans. He added the night gave him "personal pleasure," as his mother was also involved with the trust.

"My mother, who believed passionately for this cause would be so proud of my association with HALO, and in her special way, she adopted it as her own," he said.

The visit to Washington was the first stop on Prince Harry's trip to the United States, during which he'll also pay a visit to Arlington National Cemetery and Walter Reed National Medical Center. He'll fly to Colorado Springs to attend events at the Warrior Games, held for injured servicemen and women, and tour damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy on the New Jersey shore with Gov. Chris Christie.

His last engagement in the United States comes next Wednesday, when he'll play in a charity polo match in Greenwich, Connecticut.

What isn't on Harry's schedule is much leisure time - a marked difference from his last trip to the U.S., after which photographs of him cavorting naked in a Las Vegas hotel room were splashed on newspaper front pages around the world. The incident came just weeks before Harry deployed with the 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps to Afghanistan.

Harry later said he had "probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down" with the nude photos.


Filed under: Capitol Hill • John McCain
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    As long as he kept William back in the UK I'm fine with his visit.

    May 9, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. truth hurts but reality bites

    Nice to see everybody really cares about the important things in this country....

    May 9, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "a mass exodus of women from their congressional offices hoping to catch a glimpse of the third-in-line to the British throne."

    I have to say...had all the men in the Capitol left their offices and flocked to the dome to ogle Kate Upton if/when she appeared at the Capitol, we'd probably be hearing a different tone to the article, no? Besides, what is with this fascination women have with the contemporary result of hundreds of years of inbreeding? I don't get it.

    May 9, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Joan from Topeka

    Sniffit
    Besides, what is with this fascination women have with the contemporary result of hundreds of years of inbreeding? I don't get it.
    -–

    There's quite a LOT that you don't get! This just being one more of them..

    May 9, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. anonymous

    far more babies are killed in the abortion murder mills around the globe than die due to landmines. i suggest he focus on that larger issue before spending time on this trivial matter.

    May 9, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  6. PJ

    "..I suggest he focus on that larger issue before spending time on this trivial matter".
    -
    He is picking up where his Mother left off. Honoring her, so to speak. Mutilation in any manner is NOT trivial.
    Bombs included.

    May 9, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    I like Harry unlike that brother of his, but I could care less about someone whose never had to nor ever will have to work a day in their lives, simply because the SILLY people of Britian "think" they have royal blood.

    May 9, 2013 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  8. SuperSam

    I don't understand why and how monarchy still exist in 21st century. Do you?

    May 9, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  9. twalk

    they should have kept McCain away from him. Henry is handsome.

    May 9, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  10. kamran

    Who cares ? Royal Family !?? What a joke ! British people never cease to amaze me.... NOT .

    May 10, 2013 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  11. Cls

    Yup. Sure nice to know that we don't have anything important to worry about in America. We have time to fondle the royal family but not enough time to feed our hungry. Sickening. Son I am disappoint.

    May 10, 2013 04:56 am at 4:56 am |
  12. Marie MD

    Hey mcnasty, once again you defeat your purpose of being in congress along with your minions. The Prince really cares about his issues and tries to correct them. You repugs can't get over yourselves.,
    "He wasn't just asking cosmetic questions," McCain said. "He was asking in-depth questions."
    As far as the other comment about gender at the Capitol and the excitement. You are used to little women who are rich so you marry them or the ones like the mutant from AK who is a hater or the little ayotte who stands behind you like she is going to be sick.

    May 10, 2013 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  13. Runymede

    I can only imagine that any woman in that crowd would like play billiards with him.

    May 10, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  14. are122

    I think Harry is okay. More of a "regular guy" then most.

    May 10, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  15. longtooth

    Deaths and mutilations due to land mines are trivial?

    May 10, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  16. navehm

    @anonymous: so you think people being killed by landmines is a trivial matter! Pathetic

    May 10, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  17. Andrew Kithimba-Smyth

    QUOTE After the prince left Capitol Hill, McCain said he found the prince "a very attractive young man, and I think he's very serious about this issue. I was very impressed." UNQUOTE

    Keywords Very attractive young man.

    But say, what has his looks got to do with landmines, and what is Sen McCain into taking note of the young chap's looks?

    May 10, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Revelations 13 = Prince William's Coat of Arms

    May 10, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  19. Wilson

    @Sniffit

    "a mass exodus of women from their congressional offices hoping to catch a glimpse of the third-in-line to the British throne."

    I have to say...had all the men in the Capitol left their offices and flocked to the dome to ogle Kate Upton if/when she appeared at the Capitol, we'd probably be hearing a different tone to the article, no? Besides, what is with this fascination women have with the contemporary result of hundreds of years of inbreeding? I don't get it.
    ----------------
    Ok, I have to check the calendar, call the pope, rabi etc., to see if hell has frozen over or the world is ending. Because I am actually in agreement with "sniffit" on something.

    May 10, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  20. Al-NY,NY

    navehm

    @anonymous: so you think people being killed by landmines is a trivial matter! Pathetic
    ------–

    what do you expect from the "abortion mills" blather it's yammering about? in the womb....sacred. Once born....who cares?

    May 10, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  21. Republicans rule Obama

    Marie MD

    Hey mcnasty, once again you defeat your purpose of being in congress along with your minions. The Prince really cares about his issues and tries to correct them. You repugs can't get over yourselves.,
    "He wasn't just asking cosmetic questions," McCain said. "He was asking in-depth questions."
    As far as the other comment about gender at the Capitol and the excitement. You are used to little women who are rich so you marry them or the ones like the mutant from AK who is a hater or the little ayotte who stands behind you like she is going to be sick.

    __________________________________________________
    McCain in a national hero, he stood in defense of this country, that is why Harry is hanging with him. Its a bond that is formed under fire, what have you done for this country outside of complain all the time.

    May 10, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  22. Nick

    So these are staffers that are paid by our tax dollars? How about they get back to work. In the normal world they would be fired.

    May 10, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ah, yes. Love the inbreeding, Sniffit. Love the double entendre as well. It is the inbreeding afterall that creates the conundrum that our American women who are "screaming in mass exodus" to meet this untouchable elitist haven't yet grasped. Simply put ... by British standards, they just ain't good enough for him to do more than .... well, mingle with.

    May 10, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |