Stop the presses! Prince Harry is coming to Fairfield County!
The 28-year-old ginger -- third in line to the British throne -- was last seen playing strip billiards in Las Vegas (with women who gave new meaning to the term "ladies in waiting"). This time, for his upcoming visit, Buckingham Palace has loaded up his schedule. There will be very little down time.
Prince Harry is headed to Washington, Colorado, New Jersey, New York -- and then, on May 15, Connecticut. He's scheduled to play polo at the Greenwich Polo Club because, well, his grandmum probably thinks riding around on a horse while holding a mallet is a lot safer than a hotel room in Vegas.
The New York Times was all over the story, once Harry's itinerary was announced. For reaction, they went to the best possible source. Natalie Pray -- "president of the English Speaking Union of Greenwich, " who last year celebrated the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II with "Champagne, strawberries and a display of her husband's Rolls-Royces" -- pronounced herself "thrilled" at the impending visit. "I think Greenwich has the most beautiful polo fields around," she said.
Well! Ms. Pray has clearly not come to Westport. The Fairfield County Hunt Club has what I think are the most beautiful fields around. And I say that not as a polo expert, but as someone who has driven past the Hunt Club on Long Lots Road for many years, and has just as much right to comment on the subject as Natalie Pray.
But what if, pray tell, Prince Harry does shake off his handlers? What if he manages to find his way up the road (probably the Merritt -- it's much more of a "motorway" than I-95) to Westport? What could we show the royal heir that Greenwich, Washington, Colorado and (insert Snooki or The Situation joke here) -- New Joisey cannot?
Well, not big houses. The most McMansionest of our estates can't hold a candle to some of what I've seen in Greenwich's "backcountry." (We don't even have a fancy name for the fancy parts of our town. "Beachside" sounds like a public park at the Jersey Shore.) Besides which, Prince Harry's house dwarfs anything you'll find even in "the backcountry."
So what could we show him that Greenwich doesn't have? A beach, for one. Yeah, yeah, everyone in Greenwich talks about Tod's Point. It's pretty, sure, but just look at a map. It sits at the narrow end of Long Island Sound, just a couple of miles from Queens. And, to be technical, it really is more of a "point" than a "beach."
Besides which, I've been to Blackpool. Trust me: Prince Harry needs a beach. He may be impressed with whatever he sees in California -- Santa Monica, Venice, blahblahblah -- but we have Joey's by the Shore. A way cool playground. And cannons.
Though it might be best not to remind our British guest exactly why those cannons are there.
From the beach, we could take Harry to Main Street. We would of course hustle him past still-shuttered stores like the Sunglass Hut, and soon-to-be closed spots like Coach. Instead, we'd show him Westport originals like the Pizzeria. Oscar's. And all the other cute little mom-and-pop stores that make it so charming like...you know...I mean. Of course then there's...
Oh well. We could always end at David's Tea. I've never been there, but my hat is off to any business that can make it on Main Street selling teabags. Plus, I have it on good authority that there is nothing Prince Harry likes better than a good cuppa.
Unless he is in Las Vegas, that is.
From Main Street, it's off to Bridgewater Associates. Westport is home to the biggest hedge fund in the world. And although when Brits hear the word "hedge" they are more likely to think "hog" or "row" than "fund," Prince Harry might enjoy seeing how people in Westport toil for a living.
But after a long and tiring tour of the States, the prince would be entitled to a little r-and-r. We can't show him a good time at a neighborhood pub -- we don't have any -- but he might enjoy hoisting a pint or two (or three) with real Westporters, at a real Westport spot.
We'd take him to Saugatuck. Harry seems like just the type to enjoy the nightlife in that newly lively section of town. The Duck, Dunville's, Viva's, Blu Parrot -- they've got everything he likes. (Judging from the British tabloids, which have assigned their best and most seasoned journalists to chronicling everything about him.) There's beer, music, and plenty of attractive women.
The only thing missing is strip billiards. That, apparently, stays in Vegas.