From playboy prince to humanitarian hero: Harry to get 'Bono' award for charity work at Washington gala


His partying antics in recent years have earned him the name of the 'playboy prince'.

Today, however, at an awards event put on by the highly-respected Atlantic Council, Prince Harry will be recognised for his contribution to a more serious cause.

The third in line to the Throne will be presented with an award to honour his humanitarian work, specifically his charitable engagements with injured military personnel.

Prince Harry pictured at the London Marathon in late April, the biggest charity fundraising event in the world

Prince Harry pictured at the London Marathon in late April, the biggest charity fundraising event in the world

The 27-year-old will share a stage with the likes of UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, who will also be honoured at the Washington event. 

And he will be accepting an award that superstar and well-known philanthropist Bono, of U2, was presented with in 2010.

Prince Harry who tonight receives a prestigious humanitarian award for his charitable work supporting the injured servicemen and women

Prince Harry who tonight receives a prestigious humanitarian award for his charitable work supporting the injured servicemen and women

The gala dinner at the US capital is likely to be a far cry from Prince Harry's usual haunts.

In the last few weeks he has frequented a number of his favourite party venues in London in what has been a busy few weeks for the royal socialite - he has even been snapped dancing in the street in the small hours of the morning.

But in Washington tonight, the 'playboy prince' may not have the chance to demonstrate his repertoire of shapes on the dance floor.

The formal gala dinner is organised by the Atlantic Council, a respected global organisation that works to strengthen transatlantic cooperation and international security.

Each year it recognises ‘leaders who represent the pillars of the transatlantic relationship: diplomacy, military, business, humanitarian and artistic achievement’.

Sources close to the prince, according to The Daily Telegraph, said on Monday that receiving the award from the Atlantic Council, reflected his growing stature,

'With his brother, Harry has supported military charities for a number of years now and wants to use his position to help highlight this important issue,' the source said.

Prince Harry will be receiving the award for 'distinguished humanitarian leadership' on behalf of himself and his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.

The 27-year-old royal is being recognised for his efforts championing Forces charities like Walking With The Wounded, ABF The Soldiers' Charity and Help For Heroes. Through the princes' own  foundation both tackle the issue of caring for disabled and wounded servicemen and women.

Harry took part in TV challenge, Harry's Arctic Heroes, in which he journeyed with servicemen severely injured in conflict

Harry took part in TV challenge, Harry's Arctic Heroes, in which he journeyed with servicemen severely injured in conflict

Harry (second left) paid tribute to the horribly injured Afghanistan veterans he joined on the ultimate Arctic challenge in -50C temperatures

Harry (second left) paid tribute to the horribly injured Afghanistan veterans he joined on the ultimate Arctic challenge in -50C temperatures

Also receiving honours are Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever for leadership in business and Anne-Sophie Mutter, a violin virtuoso.

The UN secretary-general will be receiving the Distinguished International Leadership Award.

Prior to the event, Prince Harry will meet a team of British injured servicemen and women in Washington who have taken part in a Paralympic-style event called the Warrior Games.

In an immersion suit during his charitable trek to the North Pole, Prince Harry takes part in preparations for the walk

In an immersion suit during his charitable trek to the North Pole, Prince Harry takes part in preparations for the walk

The annual event, hosted by the US Olympic Committee, sees wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans compete in Paralympic sporting events.

More than 200 competitors took part in the games last week and the UK squad competed in five sports - archery, cycling, swimming, track and field and sitting volleyball.

Members of the UK team, which was funded and supported by the charity Help For Heroes, and some of their American competitors will meet the prince this evening at the residence of Britain's Ambassador to America Sir Peter Westmacott.

Prior to his visit the the US, Harry has been spotted on several nights out in London recently. Last week, he enjoyed a long night out with friends spending several hours in the Novikov restaurant and a bar in Mayfair.

The fun-loving prince chose to dress down in jeans, a sports zipped cardigan and a baseball cap.

Earlier in April, the party prince was also seen dancing in the street after a lock-in night at Bunga Bunga bar, in Battersea.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry
Prince Harry

Jive: Prince Harry dances across the road after leaving the Bunga Bunga bar at about 3.30am

Big night: The prince with pals outside Bunga Bunga last month

Big night: The prince with pals outside Bunga Bunga last month

The marathon drinking session followed the memorial service in Windsor Castle marking ten years  since the deaths of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.

Friends say he was ‘pretty plastered’ by the end of the night, which included a stint on the dancefloor, and a karaoke session in the London club’s Eurovision-themed party room.

The London parties followed Harry's return from Belize in March, where he was seen enjoying various cocktails and dancing the night away with diplomats and locals at an enormous street party in the capital city of Belmopan.

The young prince looked in his element as he showed off his dance moves on the first night of his Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Caribbean and Brazil.

Prince Harry was dancing with the locals at a 'block party' in the Belize capital Belmopan, in March as part of a Diamond Jubilee tour

Prince Harry was dancing with the locals at a 'block party' in the Belize capital Belmopan, in March as part of a Diamond Jubilee tour

The prince may be unable to show off his dance moves at tonight's Atlantic Council awards ceremony

The prince may be unable to show off his dance moves at tonight's Atlantic Council awards ceremony

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