Prince Harry's bad boy image has endeared him to Americans

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Prince Harry watches a seated volleyball exhibition match during the Warrior Games
Prince Harry watches a seated volleyball exhibition match during the Warrior Games Photo: Chris Jackson/PA Wire

Photographers who make a living following the royal family still talk fondly of the day Prince Harry raced Usain Bolt in Kingston, Jamaica. Many put it in their top three royal pictures.

There may not have been a Usain Bolt moment in Harry's tour of the USA, but for all his dislike of the media he can still deliver a front page picture. And a headline, of course.

This was his first visit to America since the notorious naked billiards incident in Las Vegas and there was interest in how he would be received in light of that.

In the event, it was difficult to find anyone who cared.

"What goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas", a teacher from New York told me as I questioned people at the Capitol in Washington. And more than that. Harry's bad boy image positively endears him to many Americans.

Prince Harry during his visit to the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia
Prince Harry during his visit to the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia Credit: Bruce Adams/Daily Mail/PA Wire

But for all the baseball hitting and football throwing that the cameras love, Harry still got the tone right.

Watch: Prince Harry takes to the American football field

His tribute to America's war dead, his encouragement of wounded veterans and his attendance at the Warrior Games struck an important chord. It earned him considerable respect.

Read: Prince Harry wants Warrior Games to come to UK

Prince Harry shakes hands with a soldier during a bout of 'Warrior Games'
Prince Harry shakes hands with a soldier during a bout of 'Warrior Games' Credit: PA

This was Harry's second overseas tour representing the Queen and the ease with which he pulled it off, and the response he received, will have gone down well at Buckingham Palace.

It is, of course, easy to overstate America's fascination with the House of Windsor.

"What do you think of Prince Harry?" I asked some teenage visitors to Washington. "Is he British?" said one.

Read: Prince Harry extols 'American spirit' on visit to storm-battered state