Prince Henry of Wales accepted the Atlantic Council's 2012 Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Leadership Monday night for his unrelenting support for wounded veterans.
The trip, which was the Prince Harry's first official visit to Washington, attracted attention from eligible ladies throughout the city, something General Colin Powell lightheartedly noted in his introduction of his highness.
"Apart from recognizing his contributions to the humanitarian projects, I would be remiss if I didn't note that his presence has altered the normal demographic make up of our audience," Powell joked. "We have a record number of young, single women... You saw them outside. I also have to say the average age for an Atlantic Council dinner has dropped 25 years and for that we really, really thank you."
An army officer in the British Army since 2006, Prince Harry was deployed as a Forward Air Controller to the Hemland Province in Afghanistan, where he directed British and American air crafts to attack enemy targets. After three years of pilot training, Prince Harry was promoted to Captain and earned his Apache Flying Badge in 2011. [See images of Obama's secret trip to Afghanistan.]
"He has shown that he knows what it means to lead by example, even when it means possibly paying the ultimate price," Powell said.
Also in 2011, Prince Harry took part in a North Pole expedition with Walking with the Wounded, a group committed to helping wounded veterans complete extreme adventures in order to help them reassimilate after their service. His Royal Highness has also donated to the ABF The Soldiers' Charity and Help for Heroes.
"Clearly the loving effort Diana made to teach her sons the importance of serving others has touched the heart and souls of her two sons and continues her legacy," Powell said. "Prince Harry has shown a remarkable ability to lead by example and demonstrates the importance of using one's experience, talents, and position to benefit one's fellow man."
Prince Harry admitted he was overwhelmed by the award and accepted it on behalf of the men and women in the armed forces.
"For a captain in the British Army to be introduced by such a world-renowned soldier and statesman is truly humbling and a little terrifying," Prince Harry said. "If I may, I would like to accept the award on behalf of my brother, William, our foundation, all those on both sides of the Atlantic who work so tirelessly to support our wounded veterans. But particularly for the guys. This is their award."
Prince Harry used his time on stage to illustrate the importance of veteran support programs.
"The very least we owe them is to make sure that they and their brave families have everything they need through the darkest days – and, in time, regain the hope and confidence to flourish again," he said. "For these selfless people, it is after the guns have fallen silent, the din of battle quietened, that the real fight begins – a fight that may last for the rest of their lives."