March 9, 2012

PRINCE HARRY outshone by BLIND girl's speech (VIDEO | 2 PICS)

A girl who has been blind since birth upstaged Prince Harry by giving a flawless speech in front of a packed sports stadium on Monday.

Anna Albury, 12, told 11,000 students in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, that “although I am blind, I do not accept this as a disadvantage”, as she encouraged others to “pursue your dreams”.

Prince Harry, who sat next to Anna on a platform during a youth rally, chatted to her for several minutes during the formalities and after her speech he turned to her and said, “well done”.

In his own speech, the Prince, who was greeted by deafening screams when he entered the stadium, drew more cheers when he told the children they were doing their country proud, adding: “Damn, you look smart.”

Anna, who lives on the island of Abaco, was named Bahamas Primary School Student of the Year 2011 for her academic achievements.

She said: “Oh my gosh, it was amazing to meet Prince Harry. I was so excited and I just loved it and can’t wait to tell my family about it.

“He was very friendly. After my speech he congratulated me and said, 'Well done.’ All of the children I sit with at school were like 'Oh my gosh’ … they were so excited I was meeting him.”

The Prince, wearing a linen suit, open-necked shirt and sunglasses, watched children march past in groups representing their schools, clubs and associations.

Later at a reception celebrating Bahamian youth leaders, Prince Harry, met the reigning Miss Bahamas, who was said to have professed her intention to marry him.

However, Anastagia Pierre, 23, was suddenly struck by a bout of shyness. She said the Prince laughed off newspaper stories in which she said she was “in love” with him. “I didn’t ask him to marry me,” she said. “I was presented to him as 'the one that everyone has been talking about’ and he said, 'So you’re the one!’

“I said it was supposed to be light-hearted and had been blown out of all proportion, and he said, 'It always is.’ ”

* The Duchess of Cambridge is to make her first speech as a working member of the Royal family when she visits The Treehouse, a children’s hospice in Ipswich, Suffolk, on March 19.

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