Attention aspiring princesses: Prince Harry has almost landed.
On Friday, the 24-year-old prince begins a two-day tour of New York City,
his first international trip as a representative of the British royal
family. Among other things, he’ll meet with families who lost loved ones on
September 11 and visit soldiers injured in Afghanistan and Iraq at
Manhattan’s Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
With those engagements in mind, the royal heartthrob, who has a well-known
long, alcohol-fueled nights, won’t be hitting New York’s dance floors.
frankly I think he will be cream-crackered and will want a good night’s
kip,” said the prince’s private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton.
By which he meant that Prince Harry, third in line to the British
throne, will need his rest. On Saturday, he’ll face-off with Argentine model
Nacho Figueras at the Veuve
Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic on Governor’s Island to raise funds for
Sentebale, the charity he set up in 2006 to benefit vulnerable children in
Lesotho. Sentebale, which supports numerous orphanages and educates people
about HIV/AIDS, could use the boost. Income from donations plummeted by 84%
during the last financial year.
Kedge Martin, the CEO of Sentebale, says the recession presents challenges
for all charities, and denies that Sentebale has been hit especially hard.
“We’re a strong and robust organization,” she says. “The focus for that bank
year had been to expand our work on the ground and to reach out to even more
children and families. There wasn’t a focus on fundraising.”
And while refined Brits hate to talk about money, Harry’s secretary
announced that the Queen will cover the estimated $40,000 trip out of her
own pocket rather than dumping it on the taxpayer. “As it’s not a full-fat
royal trip,” Lowther-Pinkerton said, “the Queen has very graciously offered
to foot the bill, which is very kind of her.” It’s also a good p.r. move. In
recent weeks Britain’s Parliament has been engulfed in scandal after a
national newspaper revealed that scores of parliamentarians used taxpayer
money to cover personal expenses including a $48,000 gardening bill
included maintenance of a floating duck pond.
In any event, the Prince has already proven himself a bit of a
recessionista. While his father Prince Charles reportedly chartered a
private jet to the tune of $480,000 for his 2005 trip to America, Harry has
booked commercial flights for this journey. According to Lowther-Pinkerton,
“It’s just Harry’s way.”
Read: “Prince Harry’s War.”
See pictures of Prince Harry in Afghanistan.