POLITICS

Prince Harry visits Capitol Hill

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Yeas and Nays,Politics,Alicia M. Cohn

Prince Harry created a royal frenzy on Thursday when he visited Capitol Hill to tour a photo exhibit in the Russell Senate Office Building.

The hallways surrounding the roped-off rotunda were filled, mostly by women who screamed the prince's name every time they caught a glimpse between the columns as he walked the circular hall. He spent 25 minutes studying about a dozen posters displayed there by HALO Trust, a nonprofit dedicated to clearing land mines. The prince has taken up the cause previously supported by his mother, Princess Diana.

Sen.

John McCain, R-Ariz. replaced his wife, Cindy, as the prince's escort. Cindy McCain is a member of the nonprofit's board and was "heartbroken," the senator said, to bow out due to a knee injury. McCain also told us afterward that he commented on the "unbalanced gender crowd" to the prince, who seemed abashed by the attention.

"I get that all the time as I walk in the Russell building: people start screaming," McCain joked. "I'm sure it's not the first time he's had that experience."

McCain also called Harry a "very nice young man" who seemed genuinely interested in the cause.

"He wasn't just asking cosmetic questions," he said.

Britain's third heir is officially representing the British monarchy during his trip this week to the States, and the visit to the Hill was first on his public schedule. After, he made an unannounced visit to the White House, dropping in on first lady Michelle Obama's craft day, where she was making Mother's Day cards with military families.

His Royal Highness (or HRH, as the British abbreviate it) was scheduled to attend a private reception at British Ambassador Peter Westmacott's residence on Thursday evening, followed by an even more private dinner. Friday morning, he will visit Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, then head to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to meet with wounded warriors.

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