22 October 2018
Prince Harry visits the scene of a devastating wildfire near Valparaiso in Chile on June 28. Photo: Reuters.
Prince Harry visits the scene of a devastating wildfire near Valparaiso in Chile on June 28. Photo: Reuters.

Prince Harry: Has he finally come of age?

After making news of the wrong kind in the past — remember the nude cavorting at a Las Vegas hotel suite in 2012 or dressing up as a Nazi for a party in the UK in 2005 — Prince Harry is now clearly trying to reboot his public image.

In recent months, the British Royal — now aged 29, has been seen visiting hospitals, attending charity fund-raisers and playing volleyball with injured military personnel. 

Now, he is using a visit to South America, which is in the grip of the World Cup fever, to connect with the crowds and project himself as a down-to-earth person.  

On a three-day trip to Chile, Harry turned into a TV repairman hours before the Brazil-Chile match, becoming a hero for locals, British media reported. 

Visiting a shanty town that had been devastated by wildfires near Valparaiso, the Prince noted that a television inside a house was not working properly. 

Rather than just shrug his shoulders and carry on, Harry rolled up his shirt sleeves and set about fixing the cables to get the TV working again, winning the gratitude of Coca Perez, 50, and her teenage son and daughter.

“He looked at it and he started to fiddle with the cable. He managed to get it working so we could watch Chile playing Brazil,” the Mirror quoted Ms Perez as saying. 

“Now I can tell everyone that Prince Harry is my TV repairman.”

During the trip, Harry also visited the families whose houses had been gutted in the fire and listened intently to their tales, prompting one woman to say that she was “really moved”.

There is little doubt that Harry, through his public engagements, has managed to gain a different image from that of his father – Prince Charles — who is widely mocked for his stiff and unappealing demeanor.

But that still begs this question: Do Harry’s new-found ways mean that he has finally come of age? Or, are all his recent acts just a show scripted by his elaborate public relations machinery?

Guess, only time — or the next Royal scandal — will tell.   

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