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Big Apple readies to greet a royal little brother

world Updated: May 29, 2009 11:06 IST

AP
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Britain's Prince Harry will start his first official visit to America on Friday, with plans to see the World Trade Center site, meetings with wounded veterans and a polo match.

Third in line to the British throne, the 24-year-old red-haired prince is a much-watched member of the royal family on both sides of the Atlantic. His party-boy image, romantic escapades and brushes with scandal regularly make newspaper headlines. Several years ago, Harry had to apologise for wearing a Nazi swastika armband to a friend's costume party.

But the younger son of the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles plans, no doubt, to be on his best behavior representing his country's crown during his two-day New York visit.

"Prince Harry is well known and respected in the United States for having deployed alongside U.S. Forces in Afghanistan," said Alan Collins, the British consul general in New York.

His grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, is paying privately for Harry's travel and that of his staff, easing the young prince into his royal role. He's in line for the throne behind his older brother, William, and his father, Charles.