Updated: March 25, 2013 at 12:00 am
The Warrior Games hit the royal jackpot when it comes to celebrity appearances.
Britain’s Prince Harry will travel to Colorado Springs in May to witness the fourth installment of the games, which feature approximately 260 wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans.
The prince’s role in the six-day event is not known, though it is believed he will attend the May 11 opening ceremony at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
The ceremony is a ticketed event, but all competitions at the OTC and Air Force Academy are free and open to the public.
First lady Michelle Obama participated in last year’s opening ceremony.
“We are honored to have him participate in the event,” said Charlie Huebner, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Chief of Paralympics.
Prince Harry is the youngest of Prince Charles’ and the late Princess Diana’s two sons and has emerged as one of the most recognizable and engaging international personalities in recent years. He served in the British Army, flying NATO missions in Afghanistan, and on his most recent trip to the U.S. made headlines when nude pictures of him with a woman went public following an apparent game of strip billiards in a Las Vegas hotel room.
Third in line to the British throne, he is also generally considered one of the world’s most eligible bachelors. That status no doubt helped news of his trip to rapidly spread around Colorado Springs on Monday. Local sports radio host Matt Pauley noted on air that female members of his station were abuzz about the news, wondering how they might be able to get a photograph with the 28-year-old prince.
Beth Bourgeois, associate director of public relations at the USOC, said she was inundated with information requests from national media outlets after the prince’s itinerary was made public in an official release from St. James’ Palace.
Bourgeois said she welcomed the attention for the event, which includes seven sports and was designed to aid in the recovery of military members.
Prince Harry will be in the United States from May 9-15. Among his planned stops are Arlington National Cemetery, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the Consul-General’s reception in Denver and New Jersey sites impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
His trip will have a “strong central theme of supporting injured servicemen and women from both the UK and US armed forces,” the release noted.
The prince visited Washington in May and met with select participants of the May 11-16 Warrior Games.
British military representatives participated in last year’s Warriors Games on an exhibition basis. This is the first year they will compete as a team along with five teams representing each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.