LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Prince Harry will tour the United States for six days in May, his office said on Monday, his first visit since he was pictured naked while partying at a Las Vegas hotel last summer.
The prince, the third-in-line to the British throne, will use his visit to show support for both wounded U.S. and British military personnel and promote his charities, as well as undertake official duties on behalf of the government.
“Although a prince, Harry is also an operational soldier - indeed a soldier’s soldier,” said his private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton said.
“A recurring theme is to help recognize and bring the spotlight onto the work being done to help these outstanding men and women.”
Queen Elizabeth’s 28-year-old grandson returned in January after 20 weeks with the British army in Afghanistan where he was a gunner in Apache attack helicopters. He has become heavily involved in promoting charities which help those wounded in action.
Harry’s U.S. tour will begin in Washington, DC, on May 9 where he will visit the Arlington National Cemetery to pay respects to those killed in recent conflicts.
He will also attend the opening of the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs where wounded servicemen and women compete in Paralympic-style competitions, appear at events in Denver, New York, and Connecticut, and visit people affected by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey before the tour concludes on May 15.
The easy-going prince has become one of the most popular members of the British royal family, and like his elder brother William and his wife Kate, his personal life attracts global interest.
Harry’s last visit to the United States, a private holiday to Las Vegas last August to relax before his Afghan assignment, was overshadowed by the publication of pictures of him frolicking naked with a nude woman.
The prince, who has often spoken of his disdain for the intrusive British press, said he had let himself and his family down, but added the incident should have remained private.
The issue of privacy is close to his heart after his mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a 1997 car crash in Paris while being chased by paparazzi.
Reporting by Michael Holden, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith