Sunday 26 January 2020

Video: Harry hails 'marriage' with Brazil

Prince Harry with Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes at the Sugar Loaf mountain cable car station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (AP/Victor R Caivano)
Prince Harry with Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Eduardo Paes at the Sugar Loaf mountain cable car station in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (AP/Victor R Caivano)

Prince Harry has celebrated Anglo-Brazilian relations describing how the two countries were "forging bonds that will stand the test of time".

The royal's comments came as he launched the Great initiative in Rio de Janeiro - a £25 million campaign that aims to capitalise on the London Olympics and Queen's Diamond Jubilee and attract millions more to visit, study and do business in the UK during the next few years.

Sugar Loaf mountain - Rio's landmark - was the venue for the event and the best of British was on display from car brands with long associations with Britain - Bentley, Aston Martin, Mini and Jaguar - to leading fashion labels including Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney and Burberry.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Chris Holmes, Britain's most successful Paralympic swimmer, the winner of 15 medals and the director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012 joined the prince for the event.

Harry told the audience who included artists, cultural leaders, entrepreneurs and opinion-formers from across Brazil: "In business, the UK is now Brazil's fourth largest foreign investor. In education, innovation, technology, fashion, and even in shopping, Britons and Brazilians are forging bonds that will stand the test of time, and take us forward together into the 21st Century. I feel that it's going to be a great era for our two countries, for the friendship between us. Something like a marriage - now, there's an idea."

Rio is one of 14 key cities identified for Britain's biggest ever tourism campaign, including Mumbai, Sao Paulo, and Shanghai. The launch followed others in New York and Los Angeles and the campaign will head to New Delhi, Melbourne and Tokyo.

Amongst the guests was model Lilly Cole, a supporter of the Great campaign, who said: "There are things that Britain does that are here to be celebrated, I'm proud to be part of that celebration and I think it's wonderful to be in Rio too, and Brazil is doing so amazing as a country - it is an exciting time."

When Harry first arrived at Sugar Loaf mountain he was greeted by scores of screaming girls and Uniao da Ilha, a Samba band which paraded at this year's Rio Carnival but he resisted the urge to move to the pulsating rhythms.

The royal's keynote speech was introduced by the Culture Secretary and footballer David Beckham, who spoke via a video, and told the prince to "get the party started like only he can".

Later Harry will start, and take part in, a Sport Relief mile run with groups of children and young adults. And Brazilian Adriana Behar, one of the world's outstanding beach volleyball players of her generation, will take a training session on Rio's Flamengo beach tomorrow with Harry as one of her pupils.

PA Media

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