03/14/2012

Zara Phillips watches ex-boyfriend take horrifying fall

Horse fall

Richard Johnson on Wishfull Thinking falls during the Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase on day two of the 2012 Cheltenham Fesitval on Wednesday. (AP)

Zara2What started out as a pleasant day of both royals and commoners enjoying the sport of kings turned into a horror show at England's famous Cheltenham Festival.

In the Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase on Wednesday, the favourite -- Wishfull Thinking, ridden by Richard Johnson -- fell after jumping a fence and crashed into fence near a group of photographers.

Two of the witnesses to Zara1the crash were Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Zara Phillips, the Queen's granddaughter -- Johnson's former live-in lover.

Both were caught with horrified looks on their faces as the crash unfolded. It may have been especially upsetting for Zara, who was a former girlfriend of Johnson's dating back to her late teens. The two had a stormy, five-year relationship that ended in 2003.

Shortly after moving out of his multi-million dollar home, Zara began dating rugby star Mike Tindall, eventually marrying last July in Edinburgh.

In Wednesday's crash, both horse and rider were lucky. Johnson sufffered only some bruising to his thigh and expects to be back racing
Zaraon Thursday. The horse reportedly escaped uninjured.

Finian's Rainbow, a 4-1 shot, won the two-mile race.
Horsefall1
Richard Johnson on Wishfull Thinking crash into the barrier after falling during the Queen Mother Champion Steeplechase on Wednesday. (AP)

03/13/2012

Prince Harry has his orders: 'No more pubs or parties'

Harry helicopter1

The party is officially over for Prince Harry.

With his royal tour out of the way, the British Army has banned him from pubs and parties as he prepares to join the forces fighting in Afghanistan later this year.

Step away from his Apache helicopter training course and he risks being left out of the action, sources have told the Sun paper in London.

Harry drink"He's been told in no uncertain terms his whole life is now dedicated to the Apache," a source is quoted in the paper.

"Harry has been told that his whole life is now dedicated to the Apache. If it isn't, he won't go to war — it's as simple as that. It's black and white, and the choice is his.

"He's been told that he can't spend every spare moment down the pub and can't risk spending more time on another Royal tour.”

With stiff upper lip, Harry has reported taken the warning to heart. A spokesman said the Army is now the 27-year-old captain’s “priority.”

The Prince returns to the UK on Wednesday from a few days off after his highly successful tour of Belize, Bahamas, Jamaica and Brazil. He’ll likely be heading directly to RAF Wattisham in Suffolk to resume his helicopter training. He’ll later be training in Kenya.

With this tour out of the way, Harry has essentially fulfilled his obligation as a member of the immediate Royal Family to conduct a Commonwealth visit. His brother William, also in the military, is due to travel with the Duchess of Cambridge to Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu in the second week of September. Prince Charles and Camilla will be in Canada in May, stopping in New Brunswick, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

"I'm in a very privileged position, so I'll use my title to help out where I can,” Prince Harry said in a CBS interview being aired this week. “But at the same time, we've (Harry and William) both got our military careers, and that's what we'll continue to do.

"I will help out with my grandmother whenever she needs me, but I have this job that does suck up a lot of my time, and that's the number one for me."

As for being a royal, Harry admitted to CBS that there were times when both he and his brother wished they were “normal.”

“But we've been born into this position,” he said. “And then therefore, we'll do what we need to do to make a difference to the people and to kids that need it, you know? It's, it really is that simple for us.”

If and when Harry is sent to Afghanistan, it could be for up to four months. He was last there in 2008, serving 10 weeks with ground forces.

A FEATHER IN HER CAP

Hat1Sophie, Countess of Wessex, doesn't catch as many media waves as Kate, but she knows when and where to make a splash now and then.

One of those occasions came Monday -- Commonwealth Day in the UK -- when the Royal Family attended ceremonies at Westminister Abbey.

As soon as she stepped from her car, she had cameras clicking thanks to her disc-shaped hat trimmed with large feathers.

Hat2Whatever the angle, the Jane Taylor creation upstaged every other hat at the service (to be fair, Kate wasnt' there).

Witness the now-you-see-her, now-you-don't moment with Camilla (right).

The service included Canadian singer Rufus Wainwright performing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

 

03/12/2012

Kate's portrait would complete her royal checklist

William harry portrait 

Nicky Philipps unveiled this portrait of princes Harry and William in 2010. It hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

It’s hard to believe that it has almost been a year since the royal wedding.

Kate 1But is Kate still Kate? Or has the Duchess of Cambridge emerged in her place?

Time for the checklist of signs that she has become, truly, a royal.

-- Undertaken a major foreign tour with her husband to Canada

-- Toured with the Queen

-- Selected the charities she will support

-- Celebrated Christmas at Sandringham

-- Handled her first solo royal engagements

-- Will be making her first public speech next week

- Started re-furbishing an apartment at Kensington Palace

-- Bought a dog (not a corgi, but cocker's close enough)

What’s left?

Well, not much. But there’s that spot over the fireplace that could still use a painting … say, a portrait.

No self-respecting blueblood (or near blueblood) can do without one.

PhilippsPrince Charles has spotted this hole in his daughter-in-law’s royal resume and is apparently filling it with a commission to artist Nicky Philipps, 48, (right) who had done a portrait of his sons (above) in 2010 that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

The Telegraph reports that the Prince of Wales plans on having the portrait done as a 30th birthday present for William on June 21 (so much for the surprise).

Kate has been spotted leaving Philipps’ studio in south Kensington, but the artist isn’t confirming anything. She did, however, say it would be an honour.

“Of course I’d love to,” she told the Evening Standard. “It’s every artist’s dream to paint her right now and it would be enormous fun.”

Sergei PavlenkoLast year, Philipps talked about the challenge of painting “beautiful people” such as Kate. They are “always more difficult. With symmetrical faces, there’s nothing to hang the portrait on. It’s very unlikely that you’ll ever do them enough justice.”

Her portrait of William and Harry -- in Clarence House wearing their Household Cavalry uniforms -- is the only one with the brothers by themselves.

Previously, they were part of a Sergei Pavlenko painting (right) that showed the Royal Family at Sandhurst Military Academy on the occasion of the Harry being commissioned into the British Army in 2006.

Pavlenko has done extensive work with the royals, including a 2000 ceremonial portrait of the Queen (below) that is said to be her favourite.

 

Sergei-Pavlenko queen

Queen by lucien freudOf course, there is always the chance that, in the hands of an artist seeking some abstract version of royalty, a royal portrait can take a very unroyal turn. 

There are plenty of examples of that, especially with the Queen, who has had to sit still dozens of times over the years while painters probe her soul with a paintbrush.

Sometimes, the painting is more a reflection of the artist's angst than it is of the subject herself. Perhaps the most talked about example of Queen-art is the 2001 portrait done by Lucian Freud (right). As with most art, some some genius, some saw garbage. Take your pick.

 

03/11/2012

Prince Harry hits his royal stride in first tour

Harry horse
Prince Harry competes in a charity polo match in Campinas, Brazil, on Sunday. (AP)

He's still the Party Prince, but If there was any doubt about Prince Harry's ability to carry off a royal tour, it has been put to rest over the last week.

Harry horse1On Sunday, the Prince completed the public portion of his tour with a charity polo match on a farm in Campinas, Brazil, in aid of his charity Sentebale. The word means "forget Me not," in memory of his mother Princess Diana, and the group helps children in Lesotho, South Africa.

It's doubtful the four countries Harry visited this last week -- Belize, The Bahamas, Jamaica and Brazil -- will soon forget the 27-year-old Prince. He lived up to his billing as the fun royal, jumping into every activity with enthusiasm, drinking in (sometimes literally) the local scene and charming even the anti-royal politicians along the way.

Harry was in Brazil on behalf of the UK government, pushing his country as a economic and tourist haven as Britian in 2012 features the Olympics as well as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Harry set up Sentebale, which means Forget Me Not, in memory of his late mother, Diana Princess of Wales, to help young children in poverty-stricken Lesotho, southern Africa.

The prince sees it as a personal mission to continue her renowned humanitarian work.

"Prince Harry is worth a thousand politicians," said UK culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, in Brazil with the Prince. "As you can see he has extraordinary celebrity pulling power. But also the way he's approached things here in Brazil, sums up what we're most proud about with the Royal Family.

"He's self effacing, he's interested, he really engages with people, he joins in -- great qualities -- and I just think we're incredibly lucky to have a Royal Family that does such a good job in banging the drum for Britain."

Royal aides have described Harry as being "overwhelmed" by the reception he has been given. But as informal as he sometimes approaches his job, he knows there's plenty of eyes watching in the Royal Household.
"He has never forgotten that he has been representing his grandmother," one aide told the Daily Mail, "whom he loves and respects more than anyone, and has attempted when the occasion is right to retain a sense of gravitas."
For the record, Harry's Sentebale team beat St. Regis in the polo match. That completes as much of a sports tour as any royal has had in recent memory. In the past week, he has played cricket, rugby, beach volleyball, as well as a running against Usain Bolt. Throw in the dancing and Harry at least qualifies as one of the fitter royals around.

Harry now heads to Brazil's interior for a few days of private time, before heading back to Britian and his Apache helicopter training. It's expected Captain Wales will be deploying to Afghanistan later this year.

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Taking a page from his grandfather Prince Philip, who is an avid horse carriage driver, Prince Harry drives a horse carriage as he arrives to play polo in Campinas. (Reuters)

Harry model

Prince Harry kisses Brazilian model Fernanda Motta, during the trophy ceremony of the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup in Campinas. The annual Polo Cup is designed primarily to raise funds and awareness for Sentebale's work supporting orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho, South Africa, and some of the money raised will also go to Brazilian charities. (AFP/Getty Images)

03/10/2012

Prince Harry puts 'William' mask to good use

2012-03-10T143600Z_01_CLH10
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.

8d60e5b77608481ba9b4(2)
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)
509544828
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)
2012-03-10T201522Z_01_SLP12
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)
Eedcbcd164ae4b279e88
Residents greet Prince Harry as he arrives at the Complexo do Alemao slum in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. (AP)

2012-03-10T210420Z_01_SLP12
 Prince Harry talks to a group of children who sang to him during a visit to the occupied community of Complexo do Alemao (Reuters)

03/09/2012

Prince Harry puts Rio in the party mood

141023938
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.

03/08/2012

Queen and Kate form dynamic duo to start Jubilee tour

Kate and queen
The present (Elizabeth) and future (Kate) Queen arrive at Kings Cross St. Pancras Station, in north London before boarding a train to visit the city of Leicester on the first date of her Diamond Jubilee tour of Britain. (AFP/Getty Images)

Kate girlQueen Elizabeth knows what sells. So having her granddaughter-in-law Kate join her as she began her official UK Diamond Jubilee tours was a master stroke.

The two formed a dynamic royal one-two punch as they toured Leicester on Thursday, with cheering crowds greeting their arrival.

All eyes were, as always, on what Kate was wearing. For the record, it was an LK Bennett 'Jude' teal jacket (which costs $230 on sale), and Davina dress ($95). A hat by James Lock and Episode suede shoes completed the look. Also as always, it was quickly reported that the items were selling out on UK websites.

Crowds gathered as early as 6 a.m. to catch of glimpse of the present and future Queen (with Prince Philip providing escort) as they arrived by train. Thousands lined the streets as they did a walkabout and made their way to the city's cathedral.

This is still fairly new business for Kate, who is just getting used to going to public events without her husband Prince William, who is about a month into his six-week tour of duty in the Falklands. One well-wisher during her Leicester visit asked how the Prince was. "'He's fine," Kate replied, "but I'm missing him terribly."

After the church service, the royal party was off to De Montfort University, where activities included Kate choosing a winner among student designs for a new pair of shoes that will be crafted for her.

Shoe winnerThe winner  was a pair of blue suede high heels with lace beading, done by design student Becka Hunt (right).

"I'm in shock still -- it means everything and it is a massive thing for my career," Hunt, 20, said. "(Kate) is the biggest fashion icon. Everyone looks at what she is wearing constantly and she always looks amazing."

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be on a hectic travel schedule from now until July, making stops in every corner of the UK to help celebrate the monarch's 60 years on the throne.

To mark the start of the tour, British Prime Minister David Cameron paid homage to the Queen on Wednesday: "While the sands of culture shift and the tides of politics ebb and flow, Her Majesty has been a permanent anchor, bracing Britain against the storms, grounding us in certainty," he told Parliament.

"Diamond is the appropriate epithet for this jubilee. For 60 years, Her Majesty has been a point of light in our national life -- brilliant, enduring and resilient.

"For that, she has the respect of the House and the enduring affection of all her people."

Kate scouts
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speaks with the waiting crowd as she arrives at Leicester Cathedral on in Leicester.  Kate, a former Brownie, is a volunteer with the Scouts. (Getty Images)

Queen bishop
Queen Elizabeth is escorted by The Bishop of Leicester as she meets members of the public at Leicester Cathedral. (AP)

Queen street
Queen Elizabeth checks out some of the performers that greeted her as she visited De Montfort University on Thursday. (Getty Images)

Kate fashion

Queen Elizabeth and Kate watch a fashion show at De Montfort University on Thursday. (Getty Images)

Signatures
Ever wonder how the royals sign their names? Here's how they did it when signing the guest book after their visit to Leicester on Thursday. (Getty Images)

 

03/07/2012

British deaths in Afghanistan cast shadow over Prince Harry tour

Harry gun
Prince Harry prepares for some target practice on the shooting range with the Jamaican Defence Force at Up Park Camp on Wednesday. The Prince hit both his targets. (Getty Images)

The news from Afghanistan was bad: Six British soldiers missing and believed killed after an armoured vehicle was struck by an explosion.

Halfway around the world, in Jamaica, the bulletin put a sombre veil over the royal tour by Prince Harry, an Army Air Corps captain who coincidently was visiting troops from the Jamaican Defence Force on Wednesday.

Harry gun 2Harry, who is expected to deploy to Afghanistan later this year as an Apache helicopter pilot, was due to rappel down a tower at the JDF headquarters with the troops, but news of the British deaths caused him to reconsider.

"Prince Harry does not wish to take part in a military activity which would be deemed peripheral to an Apache pilot," said a spokesman, "on this day when the focus for the British Army should be on its core professional roles and of looking after the bereaved of those tragically killed in Afghanistan."

The Prince started the day on a lighter note, joining fellow soldiers on a 30-metre firing range for a little target practice. "Anyone with a camera want to stand at the other end?" Harry quipped to the media throng documenting the Prince's seven-day tour that has taken him through the Caribbean region.

Firing 16 live rounds, he pumped eight shots each into his two targets, scoring 39 out of 40 using a M4 Rifle and living up to his reputation as a crack shot. During Apache helicopter training last month, he was declared the top co-pilot gunner.

"He did excellent shooting, a perfect grouping with perfect results," Sgt. Anthony Forbes told the Jamaican Gleaner. "He would do well in the Jamaican army."

After autographing the targets "Harry Capt Wales," he watched the rappelling demonstration before boarding a helicopter to the port city of Falmouth.

Harry target
Prince Harry takes aim the target 30 metres away on the firing range at Up Park Camp. (Reuters)

Target
One of the targets hit by Prince Harry is displayed after a live-firing exercise at the Up Park Camp. The royal was near-perfect on the range. Next to the holes from the
5.56-mm calibre bullets, he signed his autograph. (Reuters)

Harry gun 1
Prince Harry wipes his face after shooting at a firing range at Up Park Camp in Kingston. (Reuters)

Prince harry
Prince Harry meets fellow Sandhurst trainee cadet Lieutenant Kayon Mills during his visit to the Up Park Camp on March 7, 2012 in Kingston, Jamaica. (Getty Images)

Harry had a chance to renew an old acquaintance at Up Park Camp. Lt. Kayon Mills had trained in the platoon the Prince at Sandhurst Military Academy.

"What have you been up to?" asked Harry as they two hugged.

"After Sandhurst I came straight back here," replied Mills.

Checking out the lieutenant's bicep, Harry asked if he was still working out and then told the officers around him: "This guy used to be enormous, he used to work out so much."

"It was great catching up," Mills said later. "At Sandhurst he was one of the guys, hard-working, always giving 100%. He knew when it was time to work and when it was time to celebrate."

03/06/2012

Prince Harry runs and hugs his way to Jamaican hearts

Harry race
Prince Harry leaves Usain Bolt in his wake as he races him at the Usain Bolt Track at the University of the West Indies on Tuesday in Kingston, Jamaica. (Getty Images)

First, he beat the world's best sprinter on the track. Then he hugged the prime minister who wants to cut her country's ties with his own grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.

Harry pmIs there anything Prince Harry can't get away with?

Apparently not ... at least in Jamaica. The Prince kept up his light and informal approach to this royal tour on Tuesday and scored some valuable PR points along the way.

The royal's visit with Usain Bolt was a perfect way to start his Diamond Jubilee visit to Jamaica -- hamming it up with the country's most internationally known figure.

Later, it was into the lion's den -- a visit with the Jamaican prime minister Portia Simpson Miller, who wants to end the Queen's reign as Head of State over the island and even suggested this week that Britain should compensate them for the "wicked" centuries of slavery.

Given the timing of her remarks, the meeting with Hold handsHarry could easily have been, at best, awkward. It was anything but. On the steps of Devon House in Kingston, the pair hugged, held hands and chatted as if they were life-long friends. The Telegraph correspondent described it as "more like a mother greeting her son than a politician greeting a visiting dignitary."

"We might not let him go," Simpson Miller joked with reporters.

All the while, a portrait of the Queen stood in the background. The PM may be serious about severing ties, but Harry and his host both scored diplomatic points for their good-natured meeting.

Simpson Miller was quick point out that she had nothing personal against the Queen. "She is so warm. We're all in love with her," she said.

Prince Harry set the tone early at the University of the West Indies, where he met -- and beat -- the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt (okay ... it might have been a false start). In a mock race, Harry's early leap from the blocks left Bolt laughing helplessly as the 27-year-old royal dashed to the finish line and threw up his arms in triumph.

Bolt, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, wasn't going to let the Prince get away without some schooling, though, and offered him a few pointers on sprinting. (Might come in handy when Harry has to outdistance the paparazzi.)

After the mock race, Harry noted the accomplishments of Jamaican track stars, offering this advice: "Don't go running off to America, because you've got talent your country needs."

"He cheated," said a smiling Bolt, who played a gracious loser, at least this time. "I said we would have a rematch in London 2012 and Harry said 'I'm busy.'"

Harry had a very full day planned in Kingston, including stops at a couple of hospitals and a state dinner hosted by the Governor-General.

Harry race2
Prince Harry comes out of the starting blocks ready to challenge Usain Bolt (Getty Images)

Harry race4
Prince Harry doesn't let Usain Bolt gain any ground in their mock race at the University of the West Indies on Tuesday. (AP)

Harry bolt
Prince Harry strikes one of Usain Bolt's trademark poses as he hams it up with poses with the world's fastest man at the University of the West Indies on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Harry and bolt
Prince Harry and Usain Bolt compare wingspans at the track. The 6-foot-5 sprinter can spread his arms 74 inches. The 6-foot-3 Harry didn't quite measure up. (Reuters)

Hospital
Prince Harry talks to one of the patients during a visit to Bustamente Children's Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica on Tuesday. (Reuters)

95ccbd795abd4f668843
Prince Harry dances with a girl during a visit to the non-governmental organization RISE (Reaching Individuals through Skills and Education ) in Kingston. (AP)

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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