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Prince Harry cites work for brief Australia visit

British royal visits 2 days on behalf of queen


Britain's Prince Harry, left, speaks with Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett after arriving at Perth Airport in Australia on Sunday.


PERTH, Australia — Britain’s Prince Harry on Sunday blamed work pressures for the brevity of a two-day visit Down Under representing his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The prince arrived in Sydney on Saturday to celebrate the centenary of the Australian navy fleet’s first visit to the city’s famed harbor.

He described his Sydney experience as “absolutely fantastic,” before boarding Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s jet on Sunday to fly to the west coast city of Perth. “It’s just ... really sad that we’re leaving,” the prince, 29, said before boarding the jet. “Work — just can’t get the time off work nowadays.

“The next time I come back, you’re going to be struggling to get rid of me, I’m sure,” he added.

The Apache helicopter pilot and Afghan War veteran visited the Australian Special Air Service Regiment commando headquarters in Perth before ending his first Australian visit officially representing the monarch.

The queen last made the same 10,600-mile journey from London to Sydney in 2011, when she was 85.

The prince was scheduled to fly from Perth to Dubai to attend a children’s charity dinner today.

Prince Harry made his only scheduled meeting with the Australian public Saturday, when he chatted and shook hands with fans on the Sydney waterfront. He had earlier coasted past the Sydney Opera House on board the Australian navy’s HMAS Leeuwin, one of dozens of warships from 17 nations on the harbor over the weekend for the International Fleet Review.

The review commemorates the arrival of the Royal Australian Navy fleet a century ago.

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