Britain’s Prince Harry has been on a whirlwind tour of Washington, DC, this week, meeting up with US President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Harry was in town to promote the 2016 Invictus Games, the international sporting competition for wounded servicemen due to be held in Florida during March next year.
As reported by CNN, Michelle Obama kicked off Harry’s visit to Washington by joking about the handsome, bearded royal bachelor, saying, “All right ladies… Prince Harry is here! Don’t look like you don’t notice!”
Reportedly, the UK royal had a much less exciting trip to the US than that enjoyed back in 2013. Apparently on that visit, crowds of female staffers surrounded the Russell Rotunda at the Capitol in defiance of the Capitol police, screaming and trying their best to take photos of Prince Harry.
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 28, 2015
As well as the visit to the Virginia base, the Prince spent time in an informal meeting with the Obamas and visited the British Embassy in Washington.
Relating to the 2016 Invictus Games, Michelle Obama was speaking to a group of veterans and their families in the Fort Belvoir sports hall and teased 31-year-old Harry once again.
“I guess I should apologize in advance for all the gold medals that America will win in Orlando.”
While on a tour of the Virginia base with the first lady and Jill Biden, Prince Harry observed the various programs that are ongoing to help wounded veterans with their recovery, including music and art therapy. This was followed by a wheelchair basketball game.
According to the New York Post, both Prince Harry and Michelle Obama had fun at the basketball game, with Michelle impressing the royal with a nice catch while they relaxed together watching the wounded warriors play from court-side seats at Fort Belvoir.
When addressing the service men at the event, Harry explained how his deployments in Afghanistan had deeply impacted him. He said that he has no doubt that his two deployments in Afghanistan had changed the direction of his life.
“There is very little that can truly prepare you for the reality of war.”
“The experiences can be stark and long-lasting.”
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama lauded Harry saying, “To him, our wounded warriors aren’t just a distant cause.”
It was reportedly when Harry was returning home from his first deployment in Afghanistan, accompanying three critically injured British soldiers, that he realized he had a responsibility to help. It was in 2014 that Prince Harry started the international Invictus Games to help the veterans, after getting the idea from a visit to the American Warrior Games in Colorado, wanting to do what he could to help.
Harry told the media that he saw the power sport can play in the recovery of both the mind and body, saying that surely everyone, “whether connected to the armed forces or not, would be inspired by their achievements.”
In a meeting in the Oval Office during the day, President Obama praised Prince Harry’s work with the veterans, thanking him for his service in Afghanistan and speaking of the “incredible bond” between the US and the UK.
Obama told the media that, while he had spent much time with other Royal family members, this was the first time he had a chance to speak directly to Prince Harry. He also joked that Harry had got to know the First Lady very well on their joint visit to the USO Warrior and Family center at the Virginia military base.
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