A buttoned-down Prince Harry joined Michelle Obama in honoring military families Thursday and toured an exhibition in Congress about land-mines, opening a weeklong U.S. visit devoted to the wounded victims of war. Shrieking onlookers gave him the pop-star treatment, but he was all royal business.
The British soldier-prince had one of America’s most storied wounded warriors, the wisecracking Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at his side as he viewed a display of land-mine photos, maps and mine-detection equipment, staged by a charity held dear by his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
As the prince entered the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building near the Capitol, he was greeted by a roar and shouts of “Harry!” from a crowd of about 500 people, nearly all of them women.
They crowded a roped-off hallway and stairway with a view of the exhibit, hoisting their cellphones and tablets to get a picture. Harry didn’t visibly react except to give a polite wave.
McCain, with a laugh, said he told Harry “I’ve never seen, in all the years I’ve been here, such an unbalanced gender crowd.”
From there it was on to the White House for a previously unannounced visit with the first lady, Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, and military mothers and children at an afternoon tea.
Harry joined with the children in helping the kids make Mother’s Day gifts.