Prince Harry Works Charm In Oz

9:01 AM, Oct 6, 2013   |    comments
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Australians of all sorts - soldiers, sailors and the prime minister's pretty daughters - welcomed Britain's Prince Harry to Oz this weekend as Captain Wales flew Down Under to help celebrate Australia's Royal Navy.

The ginger prince flew a long, long way for a short visit - about 48 hours - in Sydney and Perth, and then it was on to Dubai to attend a fundraiser dinner Monday for his African children's charity, Sentebale.

He arrived in Perth on Sunday for a hush-hush visit with the Australian Special Air Service regiment based in a coastal suburb.

Meanwhile, back in London, the Sunday papers were blaring that Harry was ready to propose to his girlfriend, Cressida Bonas, 24, according to unnamed friends. "Prince Harry is expected to pop the question within weeks, reported The Mirror's Sunday edition.

Of course, these same papers have been predicting the same for weeks and so far he's still single.

Harry's alleged wedding plans didn't come up during his flash visit to Australia where he was the guest of honor on Saturday, representing his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II in inspecting the fleet at the 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy's first entry into Sydney's spectacularly beautiful harbor.

More than 40 warships, 16 tall ships and 8,000 sailors from 19 nations took part in the colorful festivities, which Harry, dressed in a white-and-scarlet dress uniform, watched aboard the surveying ship, HMAS Leeuwin, gliding into the harbor under typically sunny Aussie skies.

In the afternoon, Harry was the star at a reception at Sydney's Kirribilli House, the prime minister's official residence, where new PM Tony Abbott played host along with two of his comely daughters, Bridget, 20, and Frances, 22.

The Abbott girls' pictures have been all over Australian media lately, in part because they helped Abbott get elected in September by countering his reputation for misogyny. "Lock up your daughters Tony Abbott, Prince Harry is heading downunder to party," teased, an Australian news website.

Harry also wowed throngs of ordinary Sydneysiders during a walkabout in one of the famous public areas on the waterfront, Campbell's Cove in The Rocks downtown tourist district. After changing into a gray suit and blue tie, he enthusiastically approached a surging crowd, chatting with people, playing with babies, shaking outstretched hands and waving at those clutching cellphones, the Associated Press reported.

Later, at the Kirribilli House reception, he and other guests had a commanding view of a 30-minute light show and massive fireworks display on the harbor in the evening.

Harry arrived in Sydney on Friday; video cameras caught him at the airport headed toward his motorcade, dressed in a suit and carrying a very large backpack

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