Volume 22, Number 04 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 5 - 11, 2009
Top Picture Pool photo by the Associated Press; Bottom Left Photo by Clint Spaulding/PatrickMcMullan.com, Pool photo by the Associated Press
Prince Harry played laid a wreath at the World Trade Center, visited with firefighters across the street and played polo on Governors Island last week.
Downtown’s wild about Harry
Prince Harry’s visit to New York City last week was a whirlwind of dignified tourism that took him all around Downtown, from the World Trade Center site and the British Memorial Garden to a polo match on Governors Island.
It was the prince’s first trip to New York, and he asked about some of the same issues that preoccupy the city’s residents.
While touring the World Trade Center site on Friday, Harry, 24, turned to his guides from the Port Authority and said, “Big question — when is this supposed to be finished?”
Then, after planting an Elizabeth magnolia tree in the British Memorial Garden, dedicated to the 67 British victims of 9/11, Harry asked several onlookers if they used the park. He seemed concerned that the park was maintained, saying, “As long as they take care of it.”
The issue of the park’s maintenance has upset some residents of Hanover Square, but the garden appeared to be spruced up for the prince’s visit.
Across Lower Manhattan, tourists and locals on their lunch breaks greeted Harry with smiles and cheers. As the prince left the memorial garden, several women called out, “We just love you!”
The largely somber two-day trip, paid for by Queen Elizabeth, Harry’s grandmother, seemed designed to counteract the tabloid image of Harry the partier, who once donned a Nazi costume. In addition to meeting with family members of 9/11 victims, Harry also visited the Veterans Affairs Hospital on E. 23rd St. and the Harlem Children’s Zone, which offers educational and social services programs.
The only real opportunity for fun came Saturday afternoon, when the prince participated in the Veuve Clicquot Manhattan Polo Classic on Governors Island’s opening day. The star-studded event pitted Prince Harry against Argentine polo champ Nacho Figueras, and the prince’s victory was accompanied by popping bottles of champagne.