At this rate, Prince Harry may be on his way to superhero status. Continuing his first diplomatic tour with a trip to Jamaica representing his grandmother the queen, the Prince of Wales defeated the world's fastest man in a 20-yard dash and turned what might have been a testy meeting with the island's prime minister into a lovefest.
In a report from Jamaica by NBC's Kerry Sanders on TODAY Wednesday, Harry showed he is equal parts statesman and jokester. On Monday, he went toe-to-toe with Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt, the three-time Olympic gold medal sprinter and holder of five world records, who rivals the late Bob Marley in esteem in his native country. Prince Harry lined up against Bolt for a sprint and reveled in defeating a laughing Bolt, who barely broke out of a jog in the race.
The pair had a rematch, but Harry split the starting line early, leaving Bolt laughing as Harry crowed about his victory. While saying, "I'll get him back one day," Bolt told London's Daily Mail newspaper he wants revenge in a rematch at this summer's Olympic games in London, but that the Prince cheekily told him, "I'm busy."
On Tuesday, Prince Harry had a face-to-face with Jamaica's prime minister Portia Simpson Miller, who has called on Harry's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II to relinquish her title as Jamaica's official head of state. But when boyish redhead Harry met up with her, he seemingly disarmed the prime minister with his 100-watt smile, an embrace and kisses on both cheeks.
Afterward, Prime Minister Miller gushed, "He's a nice man, very nice — a wonderful person."
And Harry's well-earned reputation as a party prince continued as well. After mixing it up with the locals during stops in Belize and the Bahamas last week, Harry — resplendent in Elvis-like blue suede shoes — once again cut a rug with the native gals during a visit to a children's center in an underprivileged area of the Kingston.
At the center Tuesday, Prince Harry rubbed elbows with Bob Marley's widow Rita, and at a charity dinner later that night, showed his musical knowledge by quoting the famous chorus from the Marley song "Three Little Birds" in his opening remarks.
"Her Majesty has asked me to extend her great good wishes to you all, and is sorry that she can't be here — so you're stuck with me," he said. "But don't worry, `cos every little thing gonna be alright!"
Prince Harry, out spreading goodwill on this, the diamond jubilee marking Queen Elizabeth's 60 years on the throne, is gaining raves for his own good-times brand of diplomacy. Speaking from Jamaica, noted royal watcher Camilla Tominey told NBC smiles should abound back home at Harry's performance.
"I think really Buckingham Palace will be exceptionally pleased with how well he's gone down here," she said.
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