Britain's Prince Harry to visit wounded troops in US tour

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's Prince Harry will tour the United States in May to champion the rehabilitation of wounded US and British troops and promote his own charities, his office said on Monday.

The prince is returning to the United States for the first time since a private trip to Las Vegas in August resulted in global headlines after he was photographed naked in a hotel room with a woman.

Prince Harry, who has recently finished a tour of duty as an army helicopter pilot in Afghanistan, will attend the opening ceremony of the Warrior Games where injured servicemen and women will compete in Paralympic-style competitions.

Britain are entering a team for the first time at the event in Colorado Springs and the 28-year-old prince is reputed to be a staunch supporter of the competition after he met British troops who competed as individuals last year.

Prince Harry will also visit Washington, Denver, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from May 9 to May 15.

The prince will meet survivors of Hurricane Sandy, which caused extensive damage in October, in New Jersey and he will stage a fundraising polo match in Connecticut, in aid of his Sentebale charity, which helps vulnerable children in Lesotho.

His private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton said: "Prince Harry wants to highlight once again the extraordinary commitment and sacrifice of our injured service men and women - our wounded warriors."

"Although a prince, Harry is also an operational soldier," he said, so "the recurring theme is to help recognise and bring a spotlight onto the work being done to help these outstanding young men and women".

The visit is also focused on charities that the prince supports, such as landmine clearance, a cause that was close to his late mother princess Diana's heart.

Earlier this month, Prince Harry became patron of anti-landmine charity the Halo Trust's 25th anniversary appeal and in Washington he will visit an exhibition about the clearance of ordnance around the world.

He will also attend a baseball event in New York as he promotes a sports programme involving his Royal Foundation.

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