“I love Nottingham. I don’t visit nearly as much as I’d love to,” Prince Harry said today during his visit to the city. And the people appear to love him right back. Prince Harry charmed the crowds. This seems to be the norm for the fifth in line wherever he goes. He appears to have a natural comradery with people from all walks of life; he has even been compared to his mother the late Diana, Princess of Wales for his warmth and humanity.
Today appeared to be no different for the Prince as he made his way through the city. Our Editor In Chief, Charlie Proctor was at Byron House at the new Central Police Station. Charlie commented on Twitter that people had been waiting, some around the block for Prince Harry’s arrival since 8 A.M. local time. One of them was a full-time carer named Lisa Beardsley. She told the Nottingham Post: “When he finally arrived, he shook my hand and we had a little chat. I was so excited that I don’t remember what he said to me, but I do remember telling him that I loved him.”
For his second engagement, the Prince made his way to the National Ice Centre to meet sports apprentices. Awaiting his arrival were more adoring fans. One of whom was 25-year-old heart transplant recipient, Rachel Hammond. Ms. Hammond had a wish to meet the Prince on her bucket list. Today, her wish came true when she, a friend and her friend’s mum had their picture taken with Prince Harry.
Prince Harry was overheard saying to the three ladies: “I love the fact you guys came here.” afterwards, Ms. Hammond said: “It feels fantastic – meeting him is just something I’ve wanted to do since I was younger.”
Cain Thomas was one of the lucky apprentices who spoke with the Prince. Thomas could’ve ended up on the wrong side of the law. He credits the program for saving his life. When asked by Harry how the program has helped with his confidence, Thomas said: “When I’m coaching, I can go into any school now, and coach, where I couldn’t do that at the start. That’s the improvement in myself.”
Prince Harry responded positively by saying: “If you can go home and lay in your bed knowing you’ve done something good with your life, that’s a tick in the box as far as I’m concerned. You should not underestimate the difference you have had on all these kids with coaching. It’s not just progress for yourself, it’s all the others.”
For his final stop in Nottingham, Prince Harry headed to Full Effect Project and the Russell Youth Club in St. Ann’s. There, he watched the rehearsal of a Hip Hopera which combines Hip-hop and elements of classic theater. He signed the community board and chatted with youth, staff and volunteers.
One of the stars of the show was fifteen-year-old Kaz McKenzie, of St Ann’s. After performing and freestyling for the Prince, he said: “Not many people can say that they’ve met a prince. And what’s positive is that he is an important person and of all the places he could’ve gone, he chose to come here.”
His Royal Highness also spoke with Seren Russell, a graduate of the program, and now an officer and mentor at the Full Effect Project. He said: “I’ve met Prince Harry before, but it was when I was just a kid involved with Full Effect – not a project officer.” He went on, saying how proud he was to represent the project and to showcase its success in preventing youth violence and gang activity.
Discussions of Prince Harry’s good work and benevolence weren’t just noticed and enjoyed by those who waited to get a glimpse of the Prince. The Nottingham Post’s Facebook page, and throughout social media in general, people commented on how kind, warm, and genuine Prince Harry always is during his interactions with all people. One visitor to the Nottingham’s Facebook page, Dorothy Roper, said: “He is so caring, just like his mum.”