Charismatic Harry charms the city his mother adored

There were echoes of Princess Diana as the Prince, pictured here meeting 9/11 widow Monica Iken and her star-struck young relative Madsen, brought his warm personal style to every encounter
Photo: © Getty Images 

A gallery of images from the Prince's weekend visit

As Prince Harry reminded New Yorkers, his mother Princess Diana loved their city. And in the 36 hours the young royal spent in the Big Apple his every look and touch seemed to bring echoes of her own unaffected personal style.

The first stop on his tour was to pay his respects to the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Prince laid a wreath at Ground Zero with a handwritten message signed simply "Harry", paying tribute to the “courage shown by the people of this great city that day".

Then, head bowed solemnly, he spent a few minutes in quiet reflection. For Monica Iken, who lost her husband Michael Iken 11 months into their marriage, his gesture meant "so, so much". And his efforts to draw out the three-year-old family member who accompanied Monica were met with shy giggles.

Harry's presence also electrified youngsters at the Harlem Children's Zone, a community organisation which he visited with his friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho. There the two royals delighted them by joining in an obstacle games.

His next engagement - a polo match in Manhattan – drew a sizeable celebrity contingent, including Madonna, Kate Hudson and rapper LL Cool J, who were, no doubt, attracted by the unique sight of a few chukkas being played in the centre of town.

While the event was free to the public, guests paid up to £50,000 per table to sip champagne in the VIP marquee. That money, as the 24-year-old explained to the crowd before the game, would go to Sentebale, his charity  for under-privileged children in Lesotho.

"Prince Seeiso and I both lost our mothers when we were very young," he said. "We set up Sentebale in their memory, and because my mother loved this city, it makes this occasion all the more poignant for me."