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Prince Harry pays moving tribute to fellow US comrades

10 MAY 2013

Prince Harry paid a moving tribute to US servicemen and women on a solemn visit to Arlington Cemetery, Virginia on Friday morning. 

Wearing his Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals No 1 dress uniform with a sky blue Army Air Corps beret, the Apache helicopter pilot's first stop was Section 60 of the historic military cemetery. In this section — where soldiers who have lost their lives in recent conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan are buried — he laid a wreath.

Harry, known as Captain Wales to his comrades, appeared genuinely moved by the experience, no doubt all too aware of the risks faced by troops in conflict zones.

 


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The 28-year-old royal, who returned from his second tour of Afghanistan in January, placed a wreath at one of the graves with a handwritten note which read:

"To my comrades-in-arms of the United States of America, who have paid the ultimate price in the cause of freedom, Captain Harry Wales."

After placing the wreath on the grave of 21-year-old soldier Michael L Stansberry Jr, who was killed in Afghanistan on July 2010, he stood to attention and saluted the grave.

The uncle-to-be was shown round some of the tranquil cemetery's 70 sections where 330,000 military casualties from the Afghanistan conflict are buried. He paused several times to read the inscriptions on the graves.

The young royal also paid his respects at the tombstone of former US president John F. Kennedy who was assassinated almost half a century ago in November 1963.

He placed a bouquet of flowers on the tombstone and paused for a moment in quiet reflection. "It was an appropriate gesture to recognise the passing of President Kennedy 50 years after his death," said a St James's Palace spokesman.

He also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

 



Crowds of well-wishers had gathered around the entrance of the cemetery to catch a glimpse of the young captain.

After visiting the cemetery, Harry will make his way to the Walter Reed National Military Medical centre, where he will be given a tour of the prosthetics and rehabilitation centre for service personnel.

"He is a soldiers' soldier and will bring a spotlight on what's being done to help these outstanding men and women ," said Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, his private secretary, ahead of the seven-day tour.

 



The prince will spend the evening Denver, Colorado where he will attend an evening reception hosted by Beverly Simpson, Consul-General to Colorado, on the second night of his US tour.

This Saturday, Harry will be in Colorado Springs to watch the opening ceremony of the Warrior Games where injured servicemen and women will compete .

It is the first time that Britain will compete in the Paralympic-style competition. Harry, who met competitors last year, is known to be a big fan of the event and its cause.

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