One Year Anniversary of the Best Week Ever

Not that I should have to explain that title, you should all just know – one year ago today I took off for Denver to join the press pack for Prince Harry’s US tour. The fact that it has been a year is extremely depressing, but it’s easy to feel better when you have an arsenal of amazing photos of the world’s most beautiful royal that you took yourself.

Now, I’ll be your best friend ever and take you down memory lane with me… please note, these photos are in chronological order, because ranking them would just be impossible. Every moment was perfect because well, it’s Harry we’re talking about here.

But before we get to the photos, please press play and pretend you’re in the Cadillac with @HWalesWatch and me on your way to the Olympic Training Center. But first learn how to put the rented fancy car in the correct version of drive…. #idontbelonghere

The first thing that happened upon arriving at day one of the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs may have been one of the coolest. Max Foster decided to interview a nobody, aka ME. Then he put me on CNN. I don’t know what he was thinking, but he’s the best.

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Prince Harry walked by me for the first time. In fatigues. No further explanation necessary on this one.

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Captain Wales participated in a sitting volleyball exhibition and when it was done, I somehow got *this* close. No zoom, I swear on his ginger hair. (Oh hi @SperryPeoplemag!)

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We got to spend the day outside at the Air Force Academy and the weird announcer tried to tell Harry he should move to Colorado (awkward). Then he looked straight at me and it was love at first sight. Okay, not really… the air horn didn’t work, but let’s pretend mmkay?

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Oh, and then I ended the day with some really sweet sunburn lines. Kind of forgot about that whole mile high closer to the sun thing..

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Then, the BEST thing happened. I lied earlier, THIS was the best thing that happened the entire trip. Prince Harry was on my flight home to New Jersey and after finally being brave enough to say hello, I was rewarded with a wave and a smile. Everyone else on the plane hated me as he disembarked. Gotta man up people!

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The next day, HRH visited the Jersey Shore. This part of the tour meant a lot to me, as he was visiting towns and people hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, a horrific event I went through myself. Although, I wish he didn’t go to Seaside. UGH.

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The final day (#sad) was a big moment in the life of any Harry fan – I got to watch him play polo! White pants in person, it’s the stuff dreams are made of.

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Another incredible part of #PrinceHarryUSA was meeting up and conquering Colorado with my Twitter friend turned real life friend, @HWalesWatch. Sidebar: The incomparable Ms. HWalesWatch has just rejoined the royal tweeting world (thank goodness) and finally recapped our ridiculous weekend of Harry shenanigans over on her blog – so, if you want to hear the dirt on life behind the press pass, she’s your girl.  And of course, spending time with the royal press pack – getting to know them and learning from them, well that was invaluable.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go be miserable with nostalgia and stew in the fact that Harry will probably never come to America again after the Memphis drama.

Prince Harry Launches Invictus Games in London

Gosh, Harry.. if you want to be like America so much, you should just move here!

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Living out a dream of his since attending the Warrior Games in Colorado last May, Prince Harry announced today the launch of the Invictus Games in London, to take place September 10 – 14 of this year. Just over a month ago, Captain Wales’ goal seemed a bit closer to reality when he left his post as an active Apache Helicopter Pilot to take a desk job stationed at Horse Guards.

Prince Harry was very clearly in his element in Colorado last year, partaking in sitting volleyball and mingling with wounded veterans and their families. As if it were even possible, that weekend at the US Olympic Training Center made me love him even more.

Led by Harry through The Royal Foundation, the Invictus Games will welcome approximately 300 wounded servicemen to London to compete in athletic competitions including wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, sitting volleyball, swimming and cycling.

Of “stealing” the idea from America, cheeky Harry joked that it was, “such a good idea by the Americans that it had to be stolen.” You’re welcome, Harry. Now.. what do we get in return?

2013: Royal Year in Review

As the new year approaches, we are all undoubtedly looking back on the royal year that was, and once again, our beloved royal family did not disappoint! Before reviewing the top moments of 2013, let’s have a brief history lesson..

2010 – William and Kate announce their engagement

2011 – William and Kate get married

2012 – Diamond Jubilee, William and Kate announce pregnancy

2013 – William and Kate become parents

Bottom line: Thank you, William and Kate!

Not only was 2013 a massive year for our favorite family, but it was my favorite year to date – a dream come true, to be exact. Before I get into the royals’ best moments, I need  to thank ALL of the professional royal journalists for being so kind to me on their visit to the US with Prince Harry and for the relationships built since then, and of course – all of my followers. A special thanks to Max Foster for including me in a royal baby special on CNN and Kelly Lynch for sending me on tour with my favorite redhead. I can’t believe this year actually happened.

Okay, onto the stuff you all actually care about… five royal highlights from 2013! (If I didn’t cut myself off at five I would be writing for a week…)

The Summer of George

No, not THAT Summer of George… this one:

Via SIMON PERRY Twitter - @SPerryPeopleMag

Via SIMON PERRY Twitter – @SPerryPeopleMag

It really does not get any better than the birth of HRH Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge. I don’t think much more needs to be said on the topic..

Prince Harry Visits The United States

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 In May 2013, Prince Harry graced America with his presence… and we haven’t been the same since. Okay, at least I haven’t. Prince Harry toured the US, visiting Colorado, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. He played sitting volleyball with wounded warriors, he toured a New Jersey boardwalk, he played baseball with kids in Harlem, he beat Nacho Figueras in polo… he charmed the pants off this nation.

Prince Harry at the Jersey Shore

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You might be thinking, “Kelly.. you just talked about Prince Harry in the US!” True as that may be, his visit to Jersey deserves a standout mention. It may have been the best morning ever waking up in my own room and driving less than 30 minutes to see my favorite royal. Harry’s desire to draw attention to the devastation we were still facing six months after Hurricane Sandy was extremely touching, and I am still grateful for that.

Prince William Sings with Job Bon Jovi

Seriously, the royal brothers with their Jersey love this year is just out of control. Just move here already! A few weeks ago Jon Bon Jovi attended the Winter Whites Gala at Kensington Palace alongside The Duke of Cambridge..and William broke out the dad dance moves to sing ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ with the rocker. If this were a bar in the Garden State, the ground would have been shaking.

Queen Elizabeth II’s Horse Winning The Royal Ascot Gold Cup

Her Majesty’s Horse, Estimate, won the Gold Cup at the Royal Ascot this June, marking the first time in the race’s 207 year history that a reigning monarch took home the top prize. The celebration that ensued by the royal party are worth a prize in and of itself.

Thanks for a great year, royal family!

Hey Harry, Can You Come Back Now?

We just want you back – for good…

After a whirlwind week in the United States, Prince Harry is back across the pond and already hard at work – he made an impromptu visit to the Chelsea Flower Show today to visit the Sentebale garden. I think I speak for most of us on this side of the Atlantic when I say: we miss you, did you really have to go?

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Leading up to the prince’s week-long tour of the East Coast and Colorado, all talk seemed to center around comparing his upcoming tour to the last time he hit American soil – the infamous Vegas vacation. The only similarity between that trip and this one? Everyone cannot stop talking about Prince Harry – but now for a very different reason.

Over the course of seven days we saw many sides to the young royal – solider, prince, philanthropist and athlete; everywhere he went, every “hat” he put on, he left the press and the public in awe. Trying to choose a favorite side of Harry or a favorite moment is proving impossible – trust me, I’ve been asked that very questions countless times since the tour’s end.

The one thing that comes to mind each time I try to pinpoint a favorite takeaway is the feeling that Prince Harry left a great, positive impression on America.. and it appears he feels the same. During both his Jersey Shore visit and a speech during the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup (which raised more than $1 million, by the way), HRH praised America and its people as “fantastic” and thanked everyone for their “extraordinary generosity.”

I can only hope that from here on out, this is the United States visit that people remember when they think about Prince Harry – the kind, generous, warmhearted young royal who will get down in the dirt and play baseball with underprivileged children, partake in a sitting volleyball match despite having full use of his legs and greet devastated residents of a small beach town he has no connection to.

Thanks for coming, Harry! You’re always welcome..

“Forget Me Not” – Prince Harry Ends US Tour with Polo Match

Today marked the final day of Prince Harry’s United States tour (pass the tissues), and in my opinion, he saved the best for last. The prince headed to the elite Connecticut suburb of Greenwich to play in the Sentebale Royal Salute Polo Cup benefiting his charity, Sentebale, which aids children in Lesotho whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Translated, “Sentebale” means “forget me not;” how fitting for the the prince’s final send-off.

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The polo prince played for the Sentebale team, while Nacho Figueras, the world’s top player and Ralph Lauren model, captained the St. Regis team. In the end, Team Sentebale came out on top with a final score of 4-3. Although it was not called properly at first, Harry did indeed score a goal and played very well throughout the match, despite having told Good Morning America’s Lara Spencer last night that he was quite nervous as he had not been on a horse in a year. We never would have known!

Approximately 400 fortunate guests including supermodel Karolina Kurkova and Olivia Palermo were on hand for the event, which also included a a lunch where Prince Harry made a brief speech thanking the American people for a wonderful week. When discussing Lesotho, HRH remarked that, “It just takes a single visit and you’re in love with Lesotho and its children,” and that “We are trying to remove the stigma of HIV/Aids amongst a generation.”

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What a way to end the tour… thanks for coming!

Prince Harry of Harlem

After what had to be the best morning of his life at the Jersey Shore, Prince Harry hit Manhattan for a series of events with politicians, children and pageant queens.

Up first – a double decker bus ride with Prime Minister David Cameron..in the middle of New York City. The two Brits pulled up to Milk Studios in Chelsea on London Routemaster bus as part of a UK business campaign, ‘GREAT.’

Rebecca English, @RE_DailyMail

Rebecca English, @RE_DailyMail

Once inside, the prince and the prime minister took part in a demonstration of 3-D printing technology and receive “look-a-like” dolls. Using the term “look-a-like” loosely here.

Rebecca English, @RE_DailyMail

Rebecca English, @RE_DailyMail

H Doll

Rebecca English, @RE_DailyMail

His Royal Highness then shed the suit and tie (dare I say he rocks one better than Justin Timberlake), and headed to Harlem to play ball with Harlem RBI, an inner-city youth program that is working with The Royal Foundation.

Prince Harry took pitches from New York Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira – even hitting a homerun, participating in drills with kids and overall serving as an uplifting beacon of baseball in East Harlem. I’m just thankful he hung out with a Yankee this time as opposed to the Mets! Harlem RBI’s Executive Director, Rich Berlin, even dubbed the slugging royal “Prince Harry of Harlem.”

To top it all off, The Royal Foundation announced its support of Harlem RBI, alongside Project Coach, helping the program expand to The Bronx – home of the Yankees. Teixeira takes part in Project Coach, whose goal is to enhance the quality of the program’s coaching and training while also increasing the number of participants.

As always, the young royal was cracking jokes – aimed at the press.

afafWho knew Harry was so good at baseball?

aggfagTonight, His Royal Highness is at a reception for The Royal Foundation with  “friends of the foundation.” How do I become a friend? Do I send them friendship bracelets or something?

You know who is a friend? Miss USA Nana Meriwether.

sagasgasgaGet in line, Nana. Side note: if marriages were based on height, I have slim pickins. #shorty

See you in Connecticut tomorrow!

Prince Harry Gets “Jersey Strong”

A sentence I never thought I would say: Prince Harry visited the Jersey Shore this morning.   It was quite lovely to wake up in my own bed and drive a mere 30 minutes to greet the young prince this morning as he visited the Seaside boardwalk – an area brutally damaged by Hurricane Sandy. However he had one very significant detour prior to  gracing us with his presence on the boardwalk – he helicoptered to Mantoloking to meet Governor Chris Christie, touring damaged homes and greeting first responders. Oh, and it was better than I could have imagined because the Governor gave His Royal Highness an official Chris Christie fleece – the constant for Jersey residents as we rode out the storm six months ago.

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Upon arriving in Seaside, Governor Christie showed Harry the infamous roller-coaster submerged in the ocean; the ride was finally removed almost the moment the prince departed. Then came the cuteness – Harry played classic boardwalk games with a group of twenty-five young children from Seaside Elementary School. My former high school science teacher turned Seaside principal, Chris Reichel, said he asked teachers to select the students who would be the best fit for fun and games with the prince – and he was blocking a gaggle of female teachers from jumping on the bus this morning. While the older children were well aware of what was going on and were excited  he said, the younger ones were a bit more overwhelmed by all the press. Mr. Reichel told me that one young student asked Prince Harry, “where’s your crown?”

When asked about the seeing New Jersey in recovery mode, Prince Harry said: “They’re fantastic, its American spirit.” He then elaborated on the resilience of the Jersey Shore, “Everyone getting together and making things right. Its fantastic, its really good.”

Harry, I could not agree more. Please, feel free to visit whenever you would like. I know a great pizza place to take you. Needless to say, I am thrilled he visited the area that I call “home,” and am hopeful that his visit will bring attention back to the shore – six months may have passed, but Hurricane Sandy is still a daily struggle.

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