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Prince Harry in the Arctic Circle.

Prince Harry continues to reap the lion’s share of royal news this August. Not only is he heading to the U.S. later this year for more helicopter training, after visiting riot-torn Manchester and breaking up with his model girlfriend, but part one of the much-publicized documentary about his trip to the North Pole aired tonight in the UK.

In Harry’s Arctic Journey, the Prince joins a team of British soldiers injured in Afghanistan as they train for an arduous trek in the coldest of climates.

The Guardian‘s reviewer, Sam Wollaston, thought Harry didn’t feel at ease with the camera crew and that he seemed “reluctant to get personal in any way.” When the film’s director asks whether going off on his own is something very different for him, the Prince answers with the question, “Do you mean without police and security?”

Answering his own question, Harry continues: “Yeah, I am looking forward to that. I think this takes it to the extreme, I mean I could have just gone for a walk at home couldn’t I, really?”

Wollaston writes:”It may be a buttoned-up posh thing; or that he doesn’t want to steal the show from the wounded soldiers. Perhaps it’s a lingering, inherited, mistrust of anyone with a camera.”

Still, Wollaston says he thinks he glimpsed a moment of the real Harry when the expedition leader knocked on the team members’ doors, and it turns out Harry was doing a little dance. “Maybe next week, when they’re actually out there, alone and on the ice, we’ll see more of the real Harry.”

Meanwhile, one of the vets, Martin Hewitt, told The Telegraph: “Harry was fantastic. He integrated into the team immediately on his arrival and he was very much one of the boys. There’s a lot of common ground between us all from being in the military, and to be honest we just talked about what any other group of twentysomething blokes talk about.”

In other royal related news:

• This item may mean a bit more to folks on East Coast after this afternoon. It turns out that Kate and William live in an earthquake-prone area. Their home on the Welsh island of Anglesey is “a major earthquake hotspot,” according to Davie Galloway of the British Geological Survey.  “Anglesey is criss-crossed by a lot of faults, and the earthquakes can strike at any time,” Galloway explained, after a small 0.8 magnitude tremor hit the island on August 7. In 1984, Anglesey was the shaken by a 5.4 quake,  the largest ever recorded in the U.K. (via The Daily Star)

• Prince Harry has appointed two new trustees to Sentebale, his charity aimed at helping African orphans. Larry Hirst, former chairman of IBM and advisor to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and Nigel Cox, a former audit manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, will both join the board of Harry’s charity, which has, according to The Telegraph, undergone some difficulties recently.

• There’s a new member of the royal family, though she’s a canine. Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall have adopted a 12-week-old Jack Russell Terrier named Beth. The puppy came from the Battersea Dogs Home in London and was driven to its new domicile in a chauffeured car. Camilla, who has done charity work for the shelter, paid the standard adoption fee of £105, and the Duke and Duchess also had to undergo the standard “home vetting” process to make sure they would provide a good environment for the pup. Camilla already has two other Jack Russells, named Tosca and Rosie. (via Female First)

• While many people are buying gold because of financial uncertainties, the royal household wants it for a more romantic reason. Sir Alan Reid, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, has been given a gift of one ounce of pure Welsh gold, donated by Ed McDermott, the managing director of the Gold Mines of Wales, a school pal of the Duchess of Cambridge. Her wedding band depleted the royal household’s gold supply, and McDermott said he wanted to make sure he gave enough for “an entire wedding ring.” (via The Telegraph)





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By Paul Hechinger