03/09/2012

Prince Harry puts Rio in the party mood

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Prince Harry watches a samba performance during a GREAT event promoting British interests on  in Rio De Janeiro on Friday. (Getty Images)

Wherever Harry goes, a party is sure to show up.

This weekend, it's Brazil.

Mixing business with pleasure, the Prince spent his first day taking in Samba dancers, a fashion show, Sugarloaf Mountaln, Ipanema beach and a helicopter ride over Rio.

2012-03-10T010821Z_01_SLP10(2)Technically, Harry has put aside his role as Diamond Jubilee ambassador for this leg of his royal tour, acting as an representative of the UK government to promote Britain's economic interests in the South American country. That job started on Sugarloaf Mountain, launching GREAT, aimed at increasing awareness of Britain via its hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games. (And even Harry may have been feeling the heat of that role, right).

His three-day trip to Brazil will also include a polo match for his charity Sentebale, taking in a beach volleyball match and visiting Complexo do Alemao, a notorious slum that has seen more than its share of violence. Harry's first visit to Brazil will end with a few private days in the country's interior.

This excursion follows seven days in Belize, The Bahamas and Jamaica, judged an unqualified success by observers far and wide. Harry's informality has fit in perfectly with the host countries, who have genuinely seemed impressed by the royal making his first ever foreign tour.

And the feeling was mutual. St. James's Palace released a letter Friday that Harry wrote to the Governor-General of Jamaica:

"Wow! I have totally fallen for Jamaica and its people.  My grandmother, The Queen, was so right about you.

"Thank you for showing me such a good time, and allowing me to visit so many cultural, historical and fun places.  The warmth that I received from the moment I set foot on your awesome island has been totally overwhelming.  In passing on your good wishes to The Queen for her Diamond Jubilee, I can't wait to tell her all about my three-day visit.

"I have made life-long friends -- and cool ones at that!  Please can I come back and visit...lots. Harry"

The Prince is reportedly getting plenty of tour advice from his brother William, who is in the final stretch of a six-week stint in the Falkland Islands as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot.

"He spoke at length to his brother before coming out, about how to approach it, and they have been in communication throughout the tour," a royal aide told the Daily Mail.

"They have been in touch regularly via mobile and text. The relationship they have is full of banter and humour, but Prince William is deeply caring of his younger brother and wants his younger brother succeed."

It seems to be working.

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