03/05/2012

Prince Harry turns on the charm for Bahamas

Prince and miss
Miss Bahamas is doing her bit to put the country's best face forward for Prince Harry's royal tour. The two met on Monday during a reception in Nassau. (Getty Images)

Prince Harry is making quite an impression on the Bahamian public -- and vice versa -- though one young woman probably wishes she wasn't quite so vocal about it.

Anastagia Pierre -- aka Miss Bahamas -- broke up the by-the-script routine on the weekend, declaring how "hot" Harry was. "I came here to fall in love with Prince Harry," she said before the Prince attended a church service. "He's hot! He is single now, so would I marry him, yes!"

Her remarks caused a bit of a stir with the British tabloids, who were quick to seize on the idea of a beauty chasing her Prince Charming. "Miss Bahamas sets her sights on Prince Harry," said the Daily Mail. "Prince Hazza dazzles Barbados beauty," said the Sun.

Since then, she has been trying to explain herself a bit more clearly.

“I am flattered, and also pretty surprised about all of the international press that has stirred up over just a few hours," the Miss Universe contestant is quoted, before following Harry to a youth rally on Monday at the National Stadium in Nassau and meeting him later at a reception.
Apparently, she meant her remarks as light-hearted banter with the gathered media hordes. Alas, her further remarks about wanting to represent her country well in front of royalty were lost in translation.
If Harry was miffed about it all (and why would he be?) there was no evidence on Monday as his royal love-in tour continued with 11,000 young people cheering him at a youth rally to celebrate the accomplishments of the new generation of Bahamians.
"Basically you're doing your country proud and damn you look smart," he told the crowd. "The Queen would be delighted by this and, on her behalf, I congratulate you all."

There was one minor slip-up in the proceedings when Harry's speech was blown out of his hands just before he was was introduced. Quick-footed aides grabbed the wayward sheets to save the day.

Anna Albury, a 12-year-old blind girl who is the Bahamas' student of the year, also spoke to the crowd, using a Braille computer to read her speech.

"Youth of Bahamas, although I'm blind I do not accept this as a disadvantage," she said. "My fellow youth, I encourage you to be committed to pursuing your dreams even though you may face struggles or difficulties."

Harry winds up his Bahamas tour today. On Tuesday, he will be in Jamaica, where he's due to make a stop at Usain Bolt Stadium and meet its namesake.

Harry and girl
Prince Harry talks to Anna Albury, a blind girl participating in the youth rally and cultural show at the National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas, on Monday.(Reuters)

Harry wave
Prince Harry (top row, centre), joins the schoolchildren in a Mexican wave at a youth rally in Nassau's  National Stadium. (Getty Images)

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