Prince Harry Takes Jamaica: Quotes Bob Marley, Hugs the PM—but What's the One Thing He Won't Do?

Royal goes down a storm in first international solo tour, but opts out of military display out of respect for fallen British soldiers

By Gina Serpe Mar 07, 2012 4:25 PMTags

It's safe to say Prince Harry's first solo international royal tour has gone down a storm. He's sampled booze at an open-air street festival, visited a children's hospital, faced off against Usain Bolt…and then there's the fact that not since the heyday of Elvis have blue suede shoes gotten such press.

And in the last day alone, he managed to ingratiate himself further to the people of Jamaica by publicly quoting their most famous son (Bob Marley, of course) and giving their prime minister a big old bear hug.

But there is one thing he's refused to do.

Prince Harry has scrapped plans to abseil down a tower at the headquarters of the Jamaican Defense Force in Kingston today, instead opting to simply watch the nation's troops take part in the adventure.

What gives? Respect, as it turns out.

The always-game Harry, lest we forget, now a captain in the Army Air Corps, decided that such a display would not be appropriate in the wake of current fears that six British soldiers are presumed dead in Afghanistan this week.

"Prince Harry does not wish to take part in a military activity which would be deemed peripheral to an Apache pilot, on this day when the focus for the British Army should be on its core professional roles and of looking after the bereaved of those tragically killed in Afghanistan," a spokesman for St. James's Palace said.

Meanwhile, Harry has had activities enough to fill his itinerary, yesterday thoroughly winning over the people of Jamaica during a speech at a state dinner hosted by Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

Harry apologized to the crowd for being a less exciting stand-in for the queen, saying the country was "stuck with me" but not to worry…"every little thing's gonna be all right."

The remark clearly went down as planned, as it not only drew applause and cheers, but later scored the prince a hearty, motherly hug from Miller, who called him a "beautiful" young man and a "wonderful person."

Like mother, like son.

Meanwhile, Harry is also being trailed on his Commonwealth trip by British boy-bander extraordinaire, Take That's Gary Barlow, who is gathering material from unknown artists for a record to be released later this year in honor of the queen's Diamond Jubilee.

In front of some media yesterday, Barlow reportedly asked Harry to take part in the record.

"I can't sing," Harry protested, prompting Gary to request a different musical contribution from the royal.

"Tambourine? Just one hit?"

Wouldn't that be a wonder.