03/10/2012

Prince Harry puts 'William' mask to good use

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Prince Harry dons a 'William' mask to take part in a fun run Saturday in Rio De Janeiro. (Reuters)

Family is never far from Prince Harry's thoughts. Or his face apparently.

509544035The royal couldn't resist having a little fun at his brother's expense, donning a 'William' mask as he crossed the finish line in a charity fun run in Rio De Janeiro.

That was just the start of his antics on Saturday in Flamengo beach area of Rio, where he also played a little rugby and tried his hand at beach volleyball.

The mask tactic seemed to work in the Sport Relief Mile race -- he completed the run in about eight and a half minutes, finishing with a flourish behind William's paper smile.

"It took everyone by surprise but he thought it was a real hoot and would make his brother laugh," one royal aide said.

Poking a little fun at his older sibling seems a sure-fire way to get some laughs on the tour. On Friday night, Harry's speech made reference to William's rhythmic abilities: "Everything about Rio makes you want to dance," he said. "I'm just so thankful that my brother isn't here because he might actually do it ... and that would not be cool."

After warming up with run, the 27-year-old jumped right into a little game of ruby with some kids, then pulled on a shirt of Brazilian green to try his hand at beach volleyball, under the guidance of Olympic player Adriana Behar.
The light-hearted morning of sports gave way to a heavy dose of reality in afternoon as Harry visited Complexo do Alemao, one of the city's poorest areas. His arrival, accompanied by armed soldiers, was cheered by residents and he was later mobbed by youngsters from the community who sang him a song of welcome. There, he played a little cricket with kids, visited a health clinic and opened a community centre.

The prince, on the final leg of his royal tour that has also taken him to Belize, The Bahamas and Jamaica, wraps up his tour Sunday before heading for a few day of private time in the country's interior.

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Prince Harry plays rugby with children at Flamengo's beach in Rio de Janeiro. Harry is in Brazil at the request of the British government on a trip to promote ties and emphasize the transition from the upcoming 2012 London Games to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. (AP)

141074766 Prince Harry made sure the youngsters didn't get the best of him during the rugby game, playfully grabbing shirts during the Flamengo Beach showdown. (Getty Images)
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Prince Harry plays a beach volleyball match as part of the British and Brazilian-themed sports day on Flamengo beach in Rio de Janeiro. (AFP/Getty Images)
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Prince Harry holds Mayara Pereira, 3, as children from the occupied community of Complexo do Alemao in Rio De Janeiro gather round for a picture of the Prince. (Reuters)
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Residents greet Prince Harry as he arrives at the Complexo do Alemao slum in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. (AP)

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 Prince Harry talks to a group of children who sang to him during a visit to the occupied community of Complexo do Alemao (Reuters)

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