Time for Fun: Harry Hits Manhattan

Prince Harry gets in a charity polo match on 2nd day of official U.S. trip.

May 30, 2009— -- He's 24 years old. He's been a worldwide celebrity since the day he was born. He's a handsome war hero. And he's suddenly single, having recently parted company with his longtime girlfriend.

But there was no late night carousing for the popular young prince on his first trip to New York City.

Prince Harry had duties to attend to.

The popular young prince began his day in math class at a charter school on 125th street.

He also toured a cooking class and watched students run an obstacle course in gym class at Harlem's Promise Academy, a school that has showed promising results in a part of the city not known for its educational opportunities.

Prince Harry even ran the obstacle course himself, finishing like the fourth graders did by sitting on a balloon and popping it.

Accompanying the prince on the school visit was his friend, Prince Seeiso, the crown prince of Lesotho.

Prince Harry's mother Princess Diana first introduced him to the troubles in Lesotho, one of Africa's poorest countries where fully one quarter of the population is infected with the AIDS virus. Harry has been active in charities benefiting Lesotho ever since.

The two men hope to build a Promise Academy in Africa.

This trip to New York was Harry's first official stint as a front man for the family business, which the royals themselves refer to as "The Firm."

Prince Harry showed himself to be a natural, at ease with himself and putting others at ease, gifts he clearly inherited from his late mother.

Whether he was joking with firefighters near Ground Zero, chatting with wounded veterans at a local VA medical center, or planting a tree at a memorial garden for the British victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, Harry flashed that trademark smile and connected.

Back home, Harry is better known as the royal bad boy, the spare to the heir, the boy who would not be king. To the paparazzi, who follow him everywhere, he's become sort of a blue-blood Lindsay Lohan, red hair and all. A royal party animal.

But on this first trip to the United States as an official representative of the royal family he showed a different side. Reporters for the BBC asked the young prince if this trip will change the public's image of him.

"In my opinion, it's the media that put the stamp on the image," he said. "That really isn't me."

The prince has been careful to come across as humble on this trip. No royal charter jet for him. He flew in British Airways, business class.

His trip isn't costing the British taxpayers a penny. Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, is paying the tab for his expenses out of her own pocket.

The prince ended his day in princely fashion, playing polo on Governor's Island near the Statue of Liberty. But even that game, sponsored by champagne-maker Veuve Cliquot, was for a good cause: AIDS orphans in Lesotho.

Harry's star power brought out other stars including Madonna, LL Cool J, and Kate Hudson -- several of whom had never been to a polo game before.

Right on cue, with just seconds on the clock in the fourth and final chukka, Prince Harry scored the winning goal for his team. Not bad for a prince trying hard to make a good impression.

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