Prince Harry's latest U.S. tour
May 10th, 2013
09:14 AM ET
1 year ago

Prince Harry focuses on veterans in Washington

Washington (CNN) - Prince Harry started off his second day in the United States with a solemn visit to Arlington National Cemetery, just outside of Washington, D.C.

Wearing formal dress uniform, the 28-year-old combat veteran laid a wreath Friday at the Tomb of the Unknowns and walked quietly among headstones in Section 60, the cemetery's plot largely dedicated to those who have lost their lives in the fight against terrorism.

Harry finished his latest tour of duty in Afghanistan in January. He served for four months as a co-pilot gunner in southern Helmand province, considered a Taliban heartland.

Later Friday, after changing into combat fatigues, he stopped at Walter Reed National Medical Center to visit wounded service members undergoing therapy.

 Prince Harry wearing his No. 1 ceremonial uniform of The Blues and Royals as he pays his respects to the victims of the Afghanistan conflict and the tomb of the unknown soldier during the second day of his visit to the United States. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

He's now on a seven-day visit to the United States, one that shows a markedly different Prince Harry from the one who made headlines during his trip in 2009. Photographs of him partying naked in a Las Vegas hotel room donned newspaper front pages around the world. He later said he "let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down" in the scandal.

But the prince had little leisure time Thursday during his first day in Washington. His arrival on Capitol Hill prompted what appeared to be a mass exodus of women from their congressional offices hoping to catch a glimpse of the third-in-line to the British throne.

Harry stopped in the Russell Senate Office Building with Sen. John McCain to tour an exhibit on finding and clearing landmines, though the serious subject was made somewhat lighter by the occasional hoots from the mostly female spectators snapping a picture of the prince. They 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."

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 late 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.

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 occasionally with McCain and Guy Willoughby of the HALO Trust, appearing to ask a few questions.

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

Later in the day Harry stopped at the White House, where first lady Michelle Obama was hosting an event honoring military moms.

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 2007. 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.

Friday night he flies to Colorado, where he'll attend events at the Warrior Games this weekend, which are held for injured servicemen and women.

Also on the itinerary, he'll tour damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and visit New York City, as well.

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

– Max Foster and Peter Wilkinson contributed to this report.


Filed under: Washington D.C.
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Grumpy2012

    I guess you have to be a prince or a celebrity to tour the White House.

    May 10, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  2. Data Driven

    Imagine what it would be like to be a prince. Weird, and possibly amusing. Even the word is kind of funny: "prince". Girls love 'em, though! - as long as they have hair. Interest in William waned at the same pace as the waning of his hairline.

    Meanwhile, I don't really get why Harry is here. PR? Self-justification? Rehabilitation tour? Stealth tourism campaign for Great Britain? What?

    May 10, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  3. it must be said

    I'd take Harry in the White House instead of the idiot we have there now. At least Harry has served his country in the military. Obama is a useless bag of divisive hot air. And his destruction of our healthcare system begins soon. Are you all enjoying those skyrocketing premiums?

    May 10, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  4. Al-NY,NY

    it must be said

    I'd take Harry in the White House instead of the idiot we have there now. At least Harry has served his country in the military. Obama is a useless bag of divisive hot air. And his destruction of our healthcare system begins soon. Are you all enjoying those skyrocketing premiums?
    ----------

    blah blah blah says the tightie rightie who stomps around his house saying "that soshulist hates amurka" So tell me....what exactly is the prerequesite for serving for being POTUS?? Duh Duh Duh-bya didn't. St Ronnie didnt and I'm sure you'd give them a pass.

    May 10, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Sniffit

    "I'd take Harry in the White House instead of the idiot we have there now."

    Pretty sure his berf surtifikayt is from England.

    "At least Harry has served his country in the military."

    Yeah, HIS country.

    "Obama is a useless bag of divisive hot air. And his destruction of our healthcare system begins soon. Are you all enjoying those skyrocketing premiums?"

    Sure...we've been "enjoying" them for a couple decades now since they were skyrocketing already. Are you enjoying the over $1.1B in premium rebates the ACA forced insurers to hand back to their insureds nationwide last year? It's set to be even bigger this coming year.

    May 10, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Winkingwino

    Thank you Prince Harry. We appreciate your concern for those who have served and died in the service of our country. You have now spent more time at Arlington than our President and neither have gone unnoticed.

    May 10, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. AS

    His Vegas Trip was last year, the article seems to suggest it was in 2009, odd.

    May 10, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Avoid getting a nude picture taken of you this time Harry.

    May 10, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. Al-NY,NY

    Winkingwino
    You have now spent more time at Arlington than our President and neither have gone unnoticed
    ----–

    if Obama had gone to Arlington, you'd complain he wasn't doing his job by sitting at his desk 24/7. You righties just can't get it straight. You say the dumbest things imaginable and set yourselves up for ridicule on a daily basis

    May 10, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Winkingwino
    Thank you Prince Harry. We appreciate your concern for those who have served and died in the service of our country. You have now spent more time at Arlington than our President and neither have gone unnoticed.
    -----------------------------------------------–
    I swear the hate of some of you people is astonishing. The President actually goes to Dover when the bodies come home from overseas. You're a pathetic person to suggest that the Commander In Chief doesn't care about the fallen. This President did not send 4,500 of our soldiers to their graves based on lies.

    May 10, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  11. bill dunn

    Thank you President Obama, my 401 K and the Dow are soaring due to your smart policies. All you right wing loons should go visit W's new library in Texas. And while your there you can read MY PET GOAT, i'm sure the library has it prominently
    displayed since it was probably the last book W read. And by the way why don't you move to Texas and help it secede, then you can all huddle around you thousand guns and find reasons not to shoot each other.

    May 10, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  12. wah really?...

    TO It Must Be Said
    And his destruction of our healthcare system begins soon. Are you all enjoying those skyrocketing premiums?

    If your on medicare give it up – it's government health insurance program. if you're not, you better refuse it when you're eligible since it's a government health insurance program. Do you also not realize that the UK has socialized medicine? So...you'd rather have Prince Harry in the office who comes from a country that believes in government provided healthcare. Perhaps before you post you should think your faulty logic through and get educated on your facts.

    May 10, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. Hap

    it must be said's problem starts with his handle and goes downhill from there. Actually my premium rates have gone up way less over the last 4 years than they did in the 8 prior to that. Second you seem to think the cost of health care is the President's responsibility which is completly off base. The high cost is driven by profits, huge profits. I guess it's okay with you that someone who adds no value is turing a profit off your pain and suffering, hint it ain't the Doctors and Nurses.
    Finally about that handle, sometimes it's better to be silent and let people think you're stupid then to comment on CNN and remove all doubt.

    May 10, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. OK

    it must be said
    -

    What a load of right wing crap. Obama did not go to Arlingrton on one Memorial day (2010). He was at another veteran's cemetery in Illinois. Your holy trinity (Reagan, George HW Bush, and Bush the Dumber) each did not attend
    a Memorial Day at Arlington also. I am sure you were frothing at the mouth about that too?

    May 10, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. OK

    Winkingwino
    ------What a load of right wing crap. Obama did not go to Arlingrton on one Memorial day (2010). He was at another veteran's cemetery in Illinois. Your holy trinity (Reagan, George HW Bush, and Bush the Dumber) each did not attend a Memorial Day at Arlington also. I am sure you were frothing at the mouth about that too?

    What a load of right wing crap. Obama did not go to Arlingrton on one Memorial day (2010). He was at another veteran's cemetery in Illinois. Your holy trinity (Reagan, George HW Bush, and Bush the Dumber) each did not attend
    a Memorial Day at Arlington also. I am sure you were frothing at the mouth about that too?

    May 10, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |

    May 10, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  16. mickinmd

    Funny how someone whose recent past behavior would have gotten him thrown out of Congress, if he had been a member, is honored so much in D.C.

    May 10, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. Darlene Buckingham

    When are people going to get it that we are here on Earth to discover our own souls – not to give ourselves away to human classifications such as class, race, religion. Everyone who is not focused on their own soul growth and the natural way of life to do no harm will be taking long journeys that have consequences of grief and suffering. It is a free will planet but why are we going down this terrible path of war, hatred and class differences?

    May 10, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  18. Sir

    I have a lot of admiration for Prince Harry. It can't be easy to have cameras following you 24/7. He didn't ask to be a Prince, he was born one. Yet unlike many royals, he has the courage to be himself and not let his title define him. I am very happy he visited Arlington because I believe he did it with sincerity. It wasn't a PR move, these men and women are his brothers and sisters in arms. He visited them to honor the sacrafices they made to protect both our country and his.

    May 10, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  19. JayNYC

    Harry – some buddies of mine are going to Vegas next weekend, staying at the Wynn, maybe you'd like to join?

    May 10, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. Larry L

    @Winkingwino

    Thank you Prince Harry. We appreciate your concern for those who have served and died in the service of our country. You have now spent more time at Arlington than our President and neither have gone unnoticed.
    ===============================
    I'll note that George W. Bush had a strong impact on our National Cemetery. He purposefully started the Iraq War with falsified intelligence data and 4,500 plus of our Service Members the early opportunity to reside in that location. But Halliburton did well!

    May 10, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Larry L

    @Winkingwino

    You need to read the comment from "Sir" at May 10, 2013 11:04 am. That comment reflects wisdom, patriotism and maturity – qualities severely lacking in today's radical and hateful right-wing.

    May 10, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Sniffit

    It's so nice to see England has forgiven us for whooping their butts and is now our BFF. If only the South could be so gracious in losing...

    May 10, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. krapit

    We need a president who doesn't fill up the Arlington cemetery

    May 10, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. emmcgee

    Has anyone else notice that his place card at his dinner setting say HENRY ???

    May 10, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |