Britain's Prince Harry ended his first trip to New York on Saturday with victory at a charity polo match and a dousing in champagne.
The prince, 24, projected a newly serious image on his two-day visit to the Big Apple, kicking off his first official foreign trip by paying homage at Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 attacks.
But he was back to his glamour-loving ways Saturday at the star-studded game on Governor's Island in the Hudson River, with Manhattan's skyscrapers the dramatic backdrop.
Riding a chestnut-colored pony called Serena he helped his team win 6-5 before an adoring crowd.
Well-heeled guests and celebrities in sunglasses, suits, tiny dresses and large hats sipped Veuve Clicquot champagne, which sponsored the event, as they watched from white pavilions.
On the other side of the pitch, hundreds of members of an enthusiastic public lay on the grass, roasting in the sun.
All afternoon, the "mwah mwah" of air kisses mingled with the shutter snaps of paparazzi cameras and thud of galloping polo ponies.
Argentine model and professional polo player Nacho Figueras, who captained the losing team, told AFP that Prince Harry was a "good player."
He dismissed suggestions before the game -- staged to raise money for Prince Harry's Lesotho children's charity Sentebale -- that he might go easy on his royal rival.
"When we're on the polo field we are all equal. That's the way he'd like it," said Figueras, whose appearance caused exclamations of admiration from several female journalists, including one gushing: "You're so tall!"
After the match, the famously hard-partying Prince Harry was soaked in champagne.
Figueras sprayed the third in line to the British throne, who then drank from a champagne-filled trophy -- and sprayed a mouthful of bubbly back.
The red-headed prince is notorious for his late nights out and occasional PR gaffes, but is seen as one of the world's most eligible bachelors.
Rapper LL Cool J said he was thrilled.
"It's very cool he came over from London for it," he said.
The rapper, sporting diamond ear rings and shadowed by an enormous bodyguard in a black suit, said there was "a certain mystery" about royals.
The closest he'd got to royalty, LL Cool J joked, was Queens -- a decidedly down-to-earth area of New York City.
This was Prince Harry's first time to New York and first trip abroad as official representative of Buckingham Palace.
He began on Friday with wreath-laying at Ground Zero, site of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack against the World Trade Center.
He then named the British Garden in Manhattan in honor of the 67 Britons killed on 9/11 and met with veterans at a military hospital.
Source: AFP American Edition