Prince Harry, Peter Westmacott, Jill Biden, Soldiers

Prince Harry Reception
Prince Harry, Royal Marines Captain Simon Maxwell, Second Lady Jill Biden, and Jim Benson. Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

England’s Prince Harry, on his first visit to Washington, stopped by the residence of British Ambassador Peter Westmacott yesterday afternoon.

At the outdoor reception he met Second Lady Jill Biden among the 125 or so guests. The prince, 27, wore a blue suit and a crown of red hair and looked relaxed. Tomato and cheese sandwiches were nibbled, tea was sipped.

The son of Prince Charles, he served as a second lieutenant in the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry Regiment in the Afghan War. Prince Harry chatted with groups of injured American and British soldiers.

Many of them, including double amputees, participated in last week’s Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, where wounded military members compete against one another in Olympic-style events.

Robin Lineberger, principal for Deloitte Consulting LLP, admired the “can do” attitude and said that seeing the soldiers overcome their disabilities made him think twice before “whining” about his own physical limitations. Deloitte is the games’ presenting sponsor.

Lineberger was joined by Charlie Huebner, the chief of paralympics for the U.S. Olympic Committee, Hunter Biden, the vice president’s son, and architect Leo Daly on the mansion’s back lawn, which had sprouted tables with dainty floral arrangements.

‘Enough Seats?’

“Are there enough seats?”, asked Westmacott, as he talked to British Private Scott Meenagh.

Corporal Claire Edwards of the British Army had damaged her femur in Iraq. She said Warrior Games is a competition where “we all are equal,” adding that her British teammates did enjoy giving the “Yank” team a run for their money. She got to meet the prince but said she avoided “ginger jokes.”

Following remarks by Westmacott, Jill Biden, in a yellow cardigan and floral dress, praised the prince for his work on behalf of military families and thanked the soldiers for “showing us what it looks like to triumph over adversity.”

Before leaving the reception, Prince Harry picked up a shovel and helped plant a tree on the lawn in honor of his first visit to the nation’s capital and the queen’s jubilee celebration year.

The prince went on to the Washington Ritz-Carlton, where he received the Atlantic Council’s 2012 Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership Award for his work on behalf of injured servicemen.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

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