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Prince Harry tours hurricane-hit New Jersey
by Staff Writers
Seaside Heights, New Jersey (AFP) May 14, 2013

Prince Harry inspected hurricane-damaged areas of the New Jersey shore Tuesday at the tail end of a US tour that has done much to bury his royal PR disaster last year in being photographed during a strip billiards session in Las Vegas.

The third-in-line to Britain's throne strolled with New Jersey's popular and pugnacious governor, Chris Christie, in Seaside Heights, a resort battered by Superstorm Sandy on October 29 last year.

Wearing sunglasses and an open-necked white shirt, Harry witnessed the still visible scars of the storm, which forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes and caused $80 billion in regional damage.

He then chatted with emergency services workers and local residents, and took in some of the arcade games on the newly rebuilt boardwalk, famous as a setting for the drunken excesses of characters on the "Jersey Shore" reality TV series.

Christie, seen by many as a possible Republican contender in the 2016 presidential election, remained by the prince's side throughout the visit -- much as he'd promised to do back in March, joking he'd make sure the party-loving royal guest did not repeat his Las Vegas antics.

Harry was engulfed in a tabloid frenzy in August last year when nude photographs of him playing billiards with an unidentified woman were published.

His current US tour has been far more sober and has been widely deemed a public relations coup for Britain's royal family at a time when Harry, his elder brother Prince William and their father Prince Charles are increasingly taking over the spotlight from the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

After New Jersey, Harry traveled to a British business promotion event in nearby Manhattan, where he accompanied Prime Minister David Cameron on a new model of the famous London red bus. On Wednesday, he was due to play in a charity polo match in posh Greenwich, Connecticut.

Over the weekend, the serving British army captain attended a Paralympic-style competition for wounded servicemen and women called the Warrior Games and last week he paid tribute at the Arlington National Cemetery to US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There has been little sign of Harry's playboy tendencies, although the bachelor's presence did prompt unusual levels of excitement among young Senate staffers during a visit to Capitol Hill to promote land mine clearance.

His final event at the Greenwich Polo Club will benefit his Sentebale charity, which helps vulnerable children in Lesotho.


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