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WASHINGTON — After a whirlwind first day in the nation’s capital that included a visit to Capitol Hill, The White House and the British Ambassador’s residence, Prince Harry was up bright and early and in uniform for a somber visit to Arlington National Cemetery.
By around 8:30 a.m., a large crowd of schoolchildren and royal watchers were waiting for him, on a beautiful and tranquil morning at the nation’s best known national military cemetery, in the Virginia suburb across the Potomac from Washington.
The young royal, a captain in the British Army who just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan as a helicopter pilot, went first to Section 60 of the cemetery where soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are buried. He placed a wreath at one of the graves with a message:
“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”
He is to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider during a solemn ceremony there, as well.
Dressed in his blue dress uniform with the sky-blue cap, Harry walked among the graves, grasping his hands behind him in the classic Windsor stance, as seen in live pictures shown on CNN.
Following his visit to the cemetery, Harry will make his way to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to spend time with wounded veterans.
When he wraps up his tour of D.C., the prince will head to Colorado Springs, where he’ll cheer on vets at the Warrior Games. From there, he’ll be in New Jersey and New York on Monday and Tuesday to tour Hurricane Sandy damage, promote British tourism and attend a charity fundraiser.
This trip across the U.S. won’t be all work, though. The final leg of his trip will allow Harry to relax a bit as he plays in a polo match in Greenwich, Conn., a game that will also serve as a fundraiser for his African charity.