Prince Harry's Royal 8-Day Visit To New Zealand

Posted: May 16 2015, 11:39pm CDT | by , Updated: May 16 2015, 11:52pm CDT, in Latest Celebrity News


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Prince Harry's Royal 8-Day Visit to New Zealand
Credit: Getty Images
  • Not a gap year.
  • Animals, children, and purple prints.

Prince Harry's been up to a lot in the 8-day trip to New Zealand, including meeting old friends, wrangling a few animals, playing football, and revealing plans for the future.

Prince Harry's first visit to New Zealand's been a huge success, including a Maori welcome.

On Tuesday, May 12, Harry had an unexpected reunion, according to The Telegraph. The 30-year-old prince met up with Vicki McBratney, a former Ludgrove school matron who helped the then 13-year-old deal with the death of Princess Diana in 1997. McBratney and the Prince of Wales bonded over the loss of mothers since the 25-year-old matron had just lost her mother the previous year.

Speaking to Stuff, she recalls how "every couple of weeks he'd come and knock on my door and we'd both go to the matron's lounge and I'd make him a Milo or a hot chocolate." Time spent involved sitting, talking, and "he'd share letters from his Mum." Starting on the day of Princess Di's funeral, the immediate bond became closer, like a friendship and a sense of normalcy.

McBratney recalls a time when Harry had older brother Wills track down Leonardo DiCaprio at the London premiere of The Man in the Iron Man, asking the star to sign a program for her. Excitedly, he presented the item's signature, "'To Vicki, all the best! Leonardo DiCaprio.'"

"My goodness, I remember you," the Prince smiled wide at the reintroduction. "Long time, no see."

The matron eventually married a dining room assistant named Andy and moved to Broadchurch in 1999. Standing in line for nearly two hours, the now 44-year-old pre-school teacher was shocked to find lasting memories for the man whose met some many people since 1997.

Calling the more notorious royal "cheeky, but not naughty," she was glad for a positive moment. "He just looked really shocked and said 'Hi Vicki, nice to see you', gave me a kiss and had a chat."

When presented with photographs of Ludgrove, the memories seemed to warm the prince up even farther. Saying, "“They are awesome, there’s Walter! I love that.”

The reunion wasn't the only surprise for the outgoing ginger, either.

Fusion offered a peek into the life of a royal football player. (That's soccer for Americans.) The scouting report outlines why "Prince Harry isn’t very good at soccer." As a royal, there's a success element, but as a soccer team owner "for the love of God, do not sign Prince Harry is you plan on trying to win games."

Turns out the British Prince can't really "change directions well," which leads to other players "exploiting" his lack of defense ability. Pulling a Cristiano Ronaldo play style, the ability to get into dangerous positions while offering clear signs of action could be an asset. Unfortunately, he has "the composure of a tornaod" while possessing the "skills of a puppy."

In short, don't hire Harry for any soccer goals.

But Us Magazine has a few tidbits on Prince Harry's strengths. Like catching a 10-foot crocodile in Darwin Harbour with the Crocodile Management Team. Oh, did anyone mention some of that involved bare hands? Fit from his stint in the military, which apparently kept him out of trouble, the help definitely involved a possibly dangerous stunt.

"Territory rangers are the best in the world in crocodile management and it is a true reflection of their excellent reputation that they were trusted to give Prince Harry such a hands-on experience," said Bess Price, Minister for Australia's Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife organization.

Price wasn't just impressed with the spare heir's ability to catch a croc, but also with his ability to take direction and help without any kind of airs. "This top secret mission is sure to leave a unique lasting impression of the Territory with Prince Harry."

Wildlife Ranger Erin Britton agreed with the Minister. "He was very appreciative to the croc team for the opportunity to do something a bit different. He's a real sweetie."

Britton added that he wasn't like anything she expected. "I found him very approachable and easy to chat with. I thought Harry came across as self-confident but humble."

Resigning from the military in June will also free up more time to work with African conservations groups and charities like Sentebale, which he co-runs with Prince Seeiso in Lesotho. The Guardian reports that he won't be using any gap year, either. Working with animals, studying and conserving, is a passion for the prince. Not just crocs.

A strong passion for the conservation in Africa, the prince is expected to spend some time on the continent, working with professionals.

“So to actually get the chance to go to Africa, embed myself with the number one top vet in southern Africa, travel with him for three weeks and every job he gets called up to do, I follow him.” He added that following a dream to conserve and communicate with the place where he feels “more myself in Africa,” is continuing another level of hope after 10 in the armed forces.

“It’s going to be amazing, whether it’s darting a lion or going into a community to see how they are changing the way they are working, and for the local culture to accept that an elephant means more to them money-wise alive than shooting it.”

Now fifth in line for the throne, Prince Harry's able to enjoy life and projects like croc hunting or meeting up with old friends. And even play a little (albeit badly) soccer here and there. Gregarious and affectionate, the royal may find it a tad more comfortable to enjoy life without so much stress.

Bouncing down the ladder rung two spaces means there's a good chance he may provide a lot more adventurous anecdotes for the public to enjoy.

Besides, you can never keep a purple-handed, prankster prince down.

Sources: Fusion, Stuff, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Us Magazine

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