Prince Harry begins seven-day US visit

Prince Harry The prince's seven-day tour includes trips to Washington and New York

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Prince Harry begins a seven-day visit to the United States later, starting with a trip to Washington and an engagement with a landmine clearance charity supported by his mother, Diana.

During the trip, which will also move on to New York, Harry will attend the Warrior Games, a sporting championship for injured servicemen and women.

He will also support British interests and promote his own charities.

It is his first return to the US since being pictured naked in Las Vegas.

The pictures of Prince Harry and a young woman naked appeared in 2012 after he had reportedly been playing "strip billiards" after inviting friends back to his hotel room for a private party.

Ahead of this latest trip, the prince's private secretary said Harry wanted to highlight "once again the extraordinary commitment and sacrifice of our injured servicemen and women - our wounded warriors."

When Prince Harry last visited America, he played strip billiards with strangers and was photographed naked at a Las Vegas hotel.

This time, a fully-clothed prince will once again attract attention in a country which dispensed with the institution he represents centuries ago, but which remains fascinated by it.

His high profile visit comes at a time when the talk is of the Queen reducing her workload and of others stepping up to the mark. Harry, the soldier prince, will - with his brother - help to fashion the future direction of the monarchy.

In Washington, he'll support a cause embraced by his late mother - landmines. When Diana called for an international ban, seven months before she died, a Tory minister accused her of being a "loose cannon".

The princess's son has vowed to finish the work of someone, he said, "had more guts than anybody else".

Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton said: "Although a prince, Harry is also an operational soldier - indeed he's a soldier's soldier - therefore throughout this briefing the recurring theme is to help recognise and bring a spotlight on to the work being done to help these outstanding young men and women."

In Washington, the prince will visit Capitol Hill and view a photography exhibition staged by the anti-landmine organisation the Halo Trust.

Harry is patron of the trust's 25th anniversary appeal and will be escorted around the display, which features images of landmine victims, workers clearing ordnance and former landmine sites, by Senator John McCain.

The exhibition is on display at the Russell Senate Rotunda, and will open to the public on Friday.

Later on Thursday the prince will attend a reception at the residence of Sir Peter Westmacott, Britain's ambassador to the US, followed by a dinner.

The tour will also take Harry to New York, where he will support the Great Campaign, a government initiative which promotes the UK around the world on the back of the success of the Diamond Jubilee and London 2012.

Harry will also attend a baseball event as he promotes a sports programme involving his Royal Foundation.

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