Watch out, Rio! Party-loving Prince Harry to land in Brazil as part of first solo royal tour
Prince Harry is to embark on his first solo royal tour to celebrate the Queen's diamond jubliee
Party-loving Prince Harry is to visit Rio as part of his first solo royal tour in March.
The 27-year-old is also planning to stay on in Brazil for a three day holiday afterwards, giving him plenty of time admire the sights on Ipanema Beach.
The third-in-line-to-the-throne is undertaking the 10-day trip on behalf of the Queen as part of his grandmother’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
He will visit Belize from March 2 to 3, the Bahamas (New Providence Island) March from 3rd to 5th and the Jamaica (including Kingston and Falmouth) March 5 to 8.
The last of these legs is likely to be particularly politically sensitive as the new Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, has vowed to abandon the Queen as head of state and adopt a republican form of government.
The itinerary for the foreign visits has not been released but Harry is almost certain to meet her at some point during his tour.
Afterwards he will fly onto Brazil, visiting the capital Rio de Janeiro and the State of Sao Paolo, between March 9 to 11.
St James’s Palace said the South American leg of his trip was being carried out ‘at the request and in support of’ the British Government.
Organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, it is designed to ‘enhance’ the partnership between the United Kingdom and Brazil, which is regarded as a vital emerging market for British exports.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall visited the country in 2009 as part of the same trade push – although Harry’s father was also seen to enjoy an impromptu Samba with three exotically-dressed dancers.
A spokesman for the prince said he also hoped to use the visit to further the interests of the charitable foundation he has set up with his brother, Prince William, which focuses on young people, conservation and the armed forces.
Beach bum: Harry is set to spend three days unwinding at Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro when on his royal tour of the area
But he will also stay on in the country until March 14 for a private holiday.
Harry is currently in the final stage of his training with the Army Air Corps to become an Apache attack helicopter pilot and hopes to be deployed to Afghanistan later this year.
His presence in South America at the same his brother is controversially based with the RAF in the Falklands may be seen as inflammatory by Brazil’s neighbour and close trading partner, Argentina, however.
The Argentinians have already made clear they believe Search and Rescue pilot William’s deployment so close to the 30th anniversary of the conflict is an ‘inflammatory’ gesture.
However Foreign Secretary William Hague, who is currently on an official visit to Brazil, welcomed the announcement.
Previous visitors: Prince Charles and Camilla visited South America in 2009
He revealed the Prince would attend the launch of the Great Campaign in Rio de Janeiro, an initiative which aims to promote the UK abroad on the back of London 2012 and the Diamond Jubilee.
Speaking alongside Sergio Cabral, Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Mr Hague said: ‘Brazil and the UK have much in common, with a shared history and close cultural bonds.
‘We are committed to strengthening our political, cultural and economic ties, and it is with this in mind that I am visiting Brazil – my first South American trip as Foreign Secretary.
‘I am now pleased to announce that His Royal Highness Prince Harry will also soon be here, and will attend the Great Campaign launch event in March.
‘We hope, through this renewed and continued engagement with Brazil, to show that we in the UK are open for business with the rest of the world and determined to build our relationships.’
Harry's visit is the first of many foreign tours the Royal Family will make this year to mark the Queen's 60-year reign.