By Maria Puente, USA TODAY
Prince Harry paid a visit to Nottingham today for a fast-paced charity tour, raising the profile again for the city of the ancient Robin Hood tales.
Harry, 28, arrived to cheering crowds waving scores of Union Jacks. He was there to promote several charitable projects, including inaugurating the new headquarters of the brain-injury association Headway, dropping in at a youth club, and checking out a school for training in music, gaming, film and television, radio and live-events production.
The down-to-earth prince, known for his enthusiasm in whatever he's doing, at one point donned a pair of goggles to get an idea of what it's like to have a brain injury, and joked with the kids he met in the crowd. He got into a ring to play at boxing with a little boy, and he gave a credible performance at reading the news with a student a training session for TV news production.
It was Harry's first visit to the central England city, forever linked to the hooded man, his band of merry men and the nasty Sheriff of Nottingham. It was also another sign he is taking up the charitable interests of his late mother, Princess Diana, who also supported the brain injury organization.
It was the second recent royal visit for Nottingham: Last June, his brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Duchess Kate, joined Queen Elizabeth II for a Diamond Jubilee event in the city. The Nottingham Post reported the buzz of excitement was practically audible in town in advance of Harry's visit today.
Since his return from a tour of duty in Afghanistan earlier this year, Captain Wales, as Harry is known in the Army, has been stepping up his public duties as third-in-line to the throne. On Sunday he appeared at the London Marathon to praise British gumption in the face of security fears after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Next month, he's due to spend a week in the USA promoting his charities to support military veterans, attending the Warrior Games in Colorado, touring Hurricane Sandy storm damage in New Jersey and playing polo to raise money for his African children's charity. And this winter he will be a member of the U.K. team of wounded warriors racing to the South Pole.
Meanwhile, royal press officials are denying reports in the Australian press Wednesday that Harry would be deploying Down Under for six months with the Australian Army. No such plans, says a palace spokesman.