Britain's Prince Harry to visit New York

Wed May 13, 2009 8:33am EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britain's Prince Harry is to visit New York later this month in his first trip to the United States since the 1997 death of his mother Princess Diana, royal officials said on Wednesday.

Harry, 24, will play in a polo match in support of his Sentebale charity helping orphans and vulnerable children in the southern African Kingdom of Lesotho, and hold a private dinner with potential benefactors.

He will also pay his respects to those who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks at the site of the World Trade Center and attend a naming ceremony for the 67 British victims at the British Memorial Garden in Hanover Square.

The two-day trip starting on May 29 will be the first time that Harry, the younger son of heir to the throne Prince Charles, has carried out official engagements overseas, although it is not formally an official visit.

Dubbed a royal wild child and playboy prince by the media, Harry has recently sought a more sober image, graduating as an army officer and serving 10 weeks in Afghanistan in 2008.

But he had to apologize earlier this year after video footage from 2006 was published of him using the derogatory term "Paki" to describe a fellow Asian army colleague.

While in New York, Harry will meet recuperating soldiers at a veterans' clinic in Manhattan and visit a children's center in Harlem.

The prince, like his older brother William, is training to be a military pilot and the trip is being squeezed in during a short period of leave.

(Reporting by Tim Castle; Editing by Steve Addison)