Transcript for Prince Harry Visits Landmine Exhibit on Capitol Hill
This is a special report from ABC news. I'm -- -- -- -- New -- with an ABC news digital special reports coming to America England's Prince Harry is in Washington DC today the first stop. On his American tour this trip. It's all about charity. A little bit of soft diplomacy as well and as we say he he's beginning on Capitol Hill touring the halo trust exhibition halo. Is -- the world's largest land mine clearance charity it's a cause very close to his mother princess Diana's heart. And joining us from the hill just steps from the prince is ABC's senior Washington correspondent Jeff -- Jeff thanks for being with us today and as we're joining you we're also taking a look at the prince there as he's been escorted around by Arizona Senator John McCain and it. Town of king makers you don't get much bigger than that I suppose. That's right Dan the prince walked in just a few moments ago in -- -- but literally fell over this room in the Russell rotunda. Not coincidentally there are a lot of staffers a lot of female senate staffers who are taking a bit of a break this afternoon to -- A good look at the -- that right now he's doing a bit of serious work here. He's being escorted as you can see by Senator John McCain on these land -- -- and as you said this is something that is near and dear to his heart and particularly his mother's heart. Shortly before her death in 1997 she was actually with halo. Looking at some of these land -- exhibits. Actual landmines that he is sort of taking on this the -- the 25 anniversary. Of this organization known as halo that is so dedicated to removing landmines around the world. -- certainly as we've been seen there as you pointed out. And when a royal makes a visit to Washington DC the Washington DC by its standards of used to seeing some high profile -- very powerful people. We'll stop and take notice there. I'm interested to find out. The -- obviously has had his moments here in the United States last year he was in Las Vegas and made a few headlines by some. Of his activity there but this trip this seems to be much more focused on essentially carry on the legacy of his late mother. It is without a doubt this is a serious trip in every sense of the word I'm going to -- turn here to take a -- -- -- look -- with Senator McCain. He's about to look at this exhibit like you said this is really the beginning. Almost a weeklong stops here and it is a serious. Trip he's going to. Tomorrow visit to wounded soldiers -- -- Walter Reed hospital and he's going to find out -- -- Colorado to participate in a wounded warriors game. So he very much is involved in a serious -- perhaps trying to make up a -- for. Some of the antics that got a lot of press attention last August when he visited Las Vegas -- Swimming in the early morning hours and habit of drinking as well he apologize for that. But this trip. Is designed more -- and convey a his serious images prince and that's what we're seeing right now again. And and you've mentioned the prince he did just land just a short time ago beginning this trip and -- moving on as you said. To meet with some wounded soldiers at Walter -- tomorrow the prince himself having spent some time in Afghanistan serving as a helicopter pilot so. Certainly no doubt that'll be an interest in exchange between the prince and those that are recovering at Walter Reed. No doubt and he's also having a conversation. He was moments ago with Senator John McCain certainly a war hero. In his own right from -- generations ago so it'll be interesting to asked Senator McCain what that conversation is like. This looking at the prince down here he is really getting. A bit of a sense of of what the mission of halo is what the land -- -- -- But that's not to say that his -- his trip -- the United States is going to be. All serious business. He has a reception planned in his honor tonight. At the -- British embassy here in Washington DC he also was going to be. Spending some time -- in a New Jersey with governor Chris Christie of New Jersey he's going to be. Taking a closer look at the hurricane sandy relief efforts to Governor Christie joked on his radio show recently that -- is going to be the chaperone keeping a close eye. Conference Terry Anderson I assure you -- one well have their clothes -- for will be swimming so but. But -- might -- -- -- and then he'll be ending his trip with they have polo match in Connecticut so starting very serious. The very serious issue here but of course a little time for fun as well. Exactly governor Chris Christie making sure that they don't make Kate detour off to Atlantic City any time -- to keep -- on the street and there. You know what the other events he's going to be going to -- be going to Colorado of -- be kicking up the warrior games which is. A series of events for 200 were wounded service personnel -- there. And I understand -- -- the first time that a British team will be competing in these games so. If it's fascinating to see that yes we look at him as a royal and of course we know the family very intimately -- at the same time. He certainly acknowledges and -- a great deal tribute to its military training and background. He does without a doubt and that's part of what this. Why this -- -- -- scripted out as planned out as it is beginning when faced serious -- with a -- missions but. -- the wounded warrior games that's a very interesting program there -- say and a generation of of wounded veterans and soldiers from America as well as Great Britain who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's going to pay tribute to that he of course has fought alongside them but the wounded warrior games it's really quite. AF fantastic -- and program of these veterans who have come back. Lost a -- Several limbs and are still competing in these -- -- games I've seen some of them practiced I've been out some of their activities it's -- really quite extraordinary set. He's going to go compete side by side and I watched them as well perhaps boosting their spirits here. The during his trip to the United States. -- Jeff I want to get your take on this because obviously you know Washington very well and for a town that certainly has seen a lot and we'll continue to -- alliance when a royal does make an appearance -- certainly kind of brings everyone. This event to a -- -- have we seen anything like this as -- recently where where there's someone. Of this age but can have that kind of power and stature kind of make Washington just stop or even a minute. And -- a few pictures that itself. You're -- -- I can't remember anything. Sat -- like this -- the closest thing but to this would be an American. Pop celebrity like beyoncé or something when she was on Capitol Hill during the inauguration ceremonies. Similar type thing a lot of people were taking pictures at that point -- was more male staffers on Capitol Hill taking their picture with her but. -- really this is kind of a moment. If he's not going to. Be stopping by -- White House there's not a state dinner of course because he's not the head of state but you know for younger generation of Americans side. I think that this is very -- to them and since several of them and I've talked to. Wish she could actually go out and enjoy some of the nightlife of Capitol Hill there and Washington but that is not in his agenda he is going to be. Sort of mining business here and the the guest -- -- -- reception tonight -- the British embassy in northwest Washington is about a 170 people I'm told. And it is in a variety of dignitaries and things are not much chance for -- for this -- on this trip. A tight itinerary and what is really passing Jeff as he pointed out earlier on that halo. He's celebrating in recognizing his 25 anniversary and that was -- cost that was so close to the late princess Diana's heart. And the the organization has cleared over a million land mines since its first inception and we're looking at some of the pictures here. Princess Diana visited some of the countries where those land mines were removed and where that organization did so much time and put so much energy and resources. In to making some of the more dangerous parts of the world -- It's interesting to see how the prince has not only made his own mark on halo but also. In the a British military is well. There's no doubt about that an ominous turn for a minute to -- the princes to and he is quite literally looking at photographs right now the halos work but. One of that the -- -- dichotomy of his trip here and if you can hear behind me a moment ago some months and screaming in some on some variances and yelling from some female staffers here. Eager to see the -- I'm not sure that they got the memo that this is the serious portion of his trip. And that he is actually looking at to exhibit some land mines that you're absolutely right and one of the pictures he's looking at down there is -- 1997. Trip his mother. Was on shortly before her death to Angola. -- she was on a mission to try and bring couples. The trip you can hear it again -- there's a group of of a female senate staffers who are very excited to see this friends. He is trying to hold his composure I can see him here and he's standing with Senator John McCain. Who has a little smirk on his face a moment ago. So a serious part of the trip but also showing that. People are here to see Prince Harry for for other reasons. It's it is an interesting. Aspect of Washington certainly had -- a part of Washington life if you don't often see that because. Washington DC a lot of business gets done and there are a lot of things that go on there that require bit of a stern face and kind of a buttoned down attitude but. When you have a royal that also happens to be one of the world's most eligible bachelors well things are gonna. -- -- -- go off script a little that I can imagine. And that could explain again why I think almost every single -- female senate staffer I see here. Passer I've found or heard -- -- out taking pictures there are some standing on the floor trying to get their picture with him in the background he is seems to be. Playing it cool and either ignoring or not hearing all of this he has a suit and tie on he's paying very much attention to. The matter at hand here with John McCain but. John McCain likes bit of good -- had a had a smile on his face a moment ago. They're trying to keep this as serious as they can as John McCain he -- a great deal of time obviously working with halo trust as well. Do you know if the -- -- me with any other senators. He's not at this point he is here for this a meeting of halo. Be a land -- a group and then he -- a scheduled to leave some senators and other dignitaries though. Will be on hand for the reception tonight at the British embassy. And interestingly. His visit on Friday and tomorrow he's taking also a very serious and private. Detour off as scheduled to be a Walter Reed medical center and is going to visit with us some of the wounded men and women from Afghanistan. And Iraq that he probably knows their story and their situation better than most any. One it is a celebrity stature because of course he is. Served in the so. Again -- it's a serious agenda but interrupted by the occasional. Smiles and smarts and that's streets here as I looked behind begin he's still making its way deep in conversation with John McCain. As as people are still snapping photographs. He is -- -- and everyone of course on either side of the -- likes to -- -- royal family interacts. With us commoners I suppose is if you could freeze that way. You know when he served in Afghanistan and there -- so many pictures there were so many accounts that were told life time that he spent there. That I I find it very interesting I know that that when when William became a page and then of course when when Prince Harry came of age. I know there is a great -- debate of how exactly they would serve what role they would play. In the military and at it's been documented and chronicled when they served their time. Helicopter pilots -- Afghanistan. Rescue missions. That the whole world was able to watch the whole world was able to see in it's interesting to think about that when you compare -- to. The charitable work. Endless amount of charitable work that their mother Princess Diana did and spend so much time not only with halo trust with so many other organizations and yet. She really wish to have that to me you were presence that she wanted to go out and understood what her role was as a royal and how to contribute back to society but at the same time. Didn't necessarily seek -- that kind of attention and you can sort of see it play out here down on the -- there as you see the prince. Taking in the exhibit -- at the same time being cognizant of the fact that yes in fact you are being snapped by all kinds of -- the grants that Chad FaceBook I'm sure -- blowing up by anyone working in Washington DC and think it is opening a serrated continue -- did. Points here one thing that so we're seeing over in the last. -- said. Ten or twelve years here in Washington and really across the country is this up to public service and -- service we're seeing. Now veterans of the Iraq war in the Afghanistan war actually running for office in America running for the House of Representatives the senate and running for other local officials offices -- Across the country and it is different I mean we've had three presidents in a row now with out military service so we're really seeing a bit of a change. In our -- part time of history here. We're going to see a new generation of leaders who have -- a military service like Prince Harry. And one of the things that their family did the royals did was make a deal with some of the British media is to not cover exactly. There -- movements as they were and Afghanistan. And fighting in exchange for some interviews once they got home but. It is really quite different the sacrifice. Largely has been -- worn by. In much of the -- lower class in the United States rather than. The upper class and upper crust we are seeing a lot more. American new politicians new generation of leaders here coming -- services served alongside in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's an excellent point and if you are just joining us we consider -- their Prince Harry. On a visit to the Russell -- -- he is viewing the halo trust exhibition which is recognizing its 25 anniversary. -- removing land mines throughout the world essentially. Creating safe zones for very dangerous. Parts of the world. His mother the late Princess Diana was a key thing here and a lot of those efforts hands of some of the pictures that are involved in that exhibit are -- her and you can see he's not getting a bit of a demonstration looks like it might be. Some kind of the device. Perhaps a land mine detecting device. Jeff how long as the exhibit going on board. That's exactly right -- and he is getting a bit -- -- a demonstration here it almost looks like -- Just to land -- he's getting a bit of a demonstration powerless it would look. When a land mine as -- collected so this exhibit just one -- but two days ago. And it's going to be here for a few weeks we're told really to draw attention to the 25 anniversary -- the -- of this land mine organization. And I can see prince Terry right now over my shoulder he has he's deeply -- there was looking deeply insisted. In this a discussion and John McCain is right at his side. And again it seems that all the the interest -- fans have quieted down a little bit saying that this is a serious moment here. And then -- watch him he's asking questions he's looking at the specific land mine removal mechanisms and he seems to be deeply engaged in this tour. Would always gives me pause whenever we cover an event like this and of course we are kind of on the outside looking in. But I do find it fascinating that you bring a great point Jeff is that. This is obviously -- and organization in an effort that is. Very importantly -- same time there is somewhat of controlled chaotic situation behind him there are a lot of the a lot of people interested to see the friends. And at the same time you have one of the most. Well recognized well. Senators standing beside you giving you personal towards. Com on an exhibit four -- organization that is very important to you. And I imagine that's going to be tremendously difficult the kind of shut up the outside world for a moment and just kind of beat president in in what's happening right there and as we -- talking about earlier. Something that his mother did almost effortlessly. Despite the -- that. There were numerous paparazzi shots and and photographers constantly following Princess Diana. It didn't stop her from doing charitable work and it didn't it didn't stop her from. From from making contributions and and you can see despite sometimes the attention warranted and sometimes unwarranted. Sometimes from behavior that. Maybe he would -- get you over from Las Vegas. You can see that that her -- have had tried to carry on that that same type of spirit and that same -- Dignity and in an increase in. Station. He of course is well used to -- -- your right to me he's just a paparazzi wherever he goes. And I did get a glimpse of actually -- that screaming was coming from. The hallway here in the Russell rotunda is -- as -- deep as I can see maybe a hundred yards -- so. With young women so that's why the -- was back doing so much -- this marble building. I'm -- -- behind me just 12 here as he goes again he's still continuing. I'm around the rotunda of the Russell senate building in just a give -- a bit of proximity here we're just across the way across the capitol complex. From the United States capitol. It's a Thursday which is usually a slow day here so there are not a lot of senators milling about but. John McCain is still at his side and actually no accident he is giving him a bit of a credibility. And a -- -- and none of the seriousness here as he escorts him. This sentence tour of the Russell senate rotunda -- this land mines. On a bigger picture -- we can read something -- of this what does this do for diplomatic relations between the two countries. -- diplomatic relations are are always quite good are very good. Between the United States and Great Britain of course they became -- a little bit during the Iraq War especially early on in the decision to go to war. In 2003 but. The in the diplomatic relations -- really not be stronger between the two countries President Obama and mrs. Obama have visited. London in Great Britain several times they've seen the queen they've seen but the prime minister things but this is sort of a new generation and -- is insisting why. -- Prince -- is not making the White House stopped that would of course elevate this trip. Even more. So it's unclear if he's going to -- private meetings or audiences -- the president or don't talk by phone or not but. There are very strong relations between the two countries. Despite. -- and economic issues on both sides of the Atlantic. As well as US and still strained feelings over the over the decision to go to -- war on Iraq. Look at this Jeff I don't know if you haven't returned monitor but what an interest -- -- this news Senator John McCain on the right Prince Harry on the left. And some young women in the background. With -- phones snapping pictures. There are so many words to describe that scene that is happening that's playing out right there and and as we've been talking about all to raise awareness of the 25 anniversary of the halo trust an organization that is dedicated to. Land mine clearing an organization that. Princes Diana was very deeply involved with the very committed -- and you can see that management is being carried on through. Her son I don't know I don't have a monitor him -- -- actually one thing better I can look directly out of here he's really just over my right hand shoulder and I don't know if you can see the flash bulbs on on. On camera and almost reminds him being in -- baseball stadium when everyone's taking a picture at the same time here everyone's life is going off on their iPhone and interestingly. Almost all of these. Young women taking pictures have -- Badges around their neck. That means that they work here in the United States senate for either a Republican or democratic senator. And they all have to have their identification to be here on the senate complex. So taking a bit of time off today for a bit of a break to see -- friends it doesn't happen every day here on Capitol Hill Alitalia. -- I can imagine not having me. Do you think about what they're. What -- Twitter and whether FaceBook accounts are gonna look like tonight and beat the gonna have a couple of bragging stories of being -- interned in order to serve in any -- -- -- capacity watching. In DC. Obviously and I think Buckingham Palace is finally got -- all of these pictures are shown him with John McCain he's in a suit and tie he's very serious so. And I think this is exactly what they were going forward here at this moment but again -- various serious moment with this halo group but very. Notorious. And tonight a diplomatic dinner at the British embassy. Yes the diplomatic dinner -- British embassy some -- 170 people will be. Invited. A lot of by dignitaries from across Washington us some elected officials as well. But not some of these adoring fans here aren't taking pictures this is their one shot to get a picture -- -- perhaps the most he grabs. No one of their -- -- or someone grabs attention maybe he can bring a -- -- not sure. But the the dinner tonight is you know invitation only but he'll be doing a photo op before that dinner will be. Talking a little bit but this is from the photo op that you really can't plan. Something that's pretty special to some of the senate staffers I didn't recognize some fairly senior members of of the house and senate staff also taking some pictures some people here at their -- so it is an interest doing pretty atypical Thursday afternoon here in Washington. You could just see this. Miles on those spaces -- -- those -- flat balls. Are are going up on the side. After the diplomatic dinner tonight and then what is the prince's itinerary. -- the prince tomorrow also has a serious itinerary. He's going to be a -- to read a naval hospital he's going to visit some of the wounded men and women the American soldiers were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. He can probably relate to them quite well he has served he's been in the same. Same battlefields in the same air -- them. And from then he's going to look Colorado he's going to participate and watch the warrior games as the wounded warrior program which is that. An organization that. Allows wounded veterans to compete in Olympic type games he's not going as far west to Las Vegas he's going to turn around and come east will be going to New Jersey. To visit some of the effort came. Sandy damaged it's still along the New Jersey -- line. That we Soriano pitched at a baseball game on Tuesday and he'll be playing a bit of a polo. Over the weekend in Connecticut -- it. Pharmacy. -- warrior games poll obviously -- -- -- very chalk full trip for six days for royal but. Obviously certainly -- that he can handle and and to reiterate New Jersey governor Chris Christie saying that there will be no repeat of what happened in Las Vegas. I think -- has certainly made that clear himself. I think in a statement saying that he had led his family down after those events that played out where he. Got a little too. Oh expo runs I guess we can say in the -- of terms for at a party in Las Vegas last year and now obviously. Certainly. Pushing that aside in here on a more diplomatic in a much more serious reason. And quickly before we let you go I -- -- White House visit or White House there is not on the agenda I'm just curious who makes that determination. Is -- an invitation from the White House -- the coordination between the two. It took. Only as a coordination between the two in this would not be the the kind of event we're you have a state dinner -- friends you may have won four. -- the -- certainly if she were able to travel reports she decided travel to the United States but this is more of a low key trip. It's more about to focusing on the matter hand rather than pomp and circumstance -- -- it would be unusual for a president to have. A formal dinner or. Formal schedule with the prince but I wouldn't be surprised if there was some either drop by -- some. Sense. Greeting from at least someone at the White House as soon as as -- -- -- -- I'll check in my sources and we'll find out exactly what the White House is doing and will again back to you on that but. In this would be something -- decided between the White House and Buckingham Palace but this. Trip is about. Showing that to Prince Harry is serious and he's really been doing a lot of it's serious and not important things on this trip not just party and I am told that he is staying at the British embassy in northwest Washington so he probably won't see a lot of -- Right -- -- exactly and if he were I'm sure every photographer in DC and -- In that area. We've seen some of these amateur photographers as well I think it's hard to -- -- -- on Twitter and FaceBook everyone behind me as the camera so he he can't escape even if he wanted to. It's security -- that -- is incredibly tight today -- the rotunda. This security is definitely more. But -- finishes -- usually on on Capitol Hill you know although there are a lot of elected officials appear normally it's the securities generally -- but. A little bit more intense than today and certainly has his motorcade moves to route to Washington. And -- as you pointed out this exhibit on the halo trust will be going on for the next couple of weeks which is. Interest in the fact that you know we see -- we see an event like this. Her and sometimes -- disconnect to it and there's fascination that we would like to be part of it in some way. It's a great opportunity now the next couple weeks that people will be able to go down. On the field this -- and it appears he's leaving. Right Dennehy is -- he just a walk out of the Russell rotunda of course we did hear that because the the streaming and the waves goodbye from Nissan has built in audience -- so the tour is now over. But -- your right if if people actually do when it comes cedes land -- seven it is here in the Russell senate. Office building in Washington DC the commotion is over Prince Harry is now leaving -- -- Russell Senate Office Building. Will be making its way throughout Washington DC over to the British embassy for -- reception tonight. Jeff selling on royal watch at the Russell rotunda for us this afternoon thanks so much -- we certainly appreciate it. Of course we will have a complete recap of the prince's visit here to the United States -- he will continue on over the next six days we'll have that on abcnews.com. For now. I'm Dan Butler with his ABC news digital special report -- return you to your regularly scheduled program. This has been a special report from ABC news did --
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