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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Prince Harry Shines in Colorado

Captain Wales has officially landed in New Jersey for the final East Coast leg of is United States tour – I would know, he sat six rows in front of me on the flight in from Denver.

This weekend was nothing short of spectacular as the soldier prince shined in his element – among his military family at the Warrior Games. On Saturday, Prince Harry participated in an exhibition sitting volleyball match, jumping in to lend a hand to the UK team (who eventually won the exhibition), while Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor assisted the U.S. team.

The announcer must have taken his funny pills that morning as he ripped into the young royal several times; calling him out on his inability to stay seated, “stop showing us your bum!” Speak for yourself, announcer man.

On Sunday, it was off to the US Air Force Academy for the cycling competitions, where His Royal Highness said a few words, started the first race (with no help of the failing air horn) and then presented medals later in the day. Again, these Colorado announcers are hopped up on funny pills as the day’s MC asked Harry if he wanted to borrow his cell so he could call his grandmother and wish her a happy mother’s day; Harry replied – she’s seven hours ahead! Harry then urged the American competitors: “if you see a Union Jack shirt coming up from behind, let him through.”

As we saw yesterday, a picture is worth a thousand words. So, here are some of my best from the athletic events..

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PS – Don’t forget to keep up with Celebuzz for my tour reports!