Prince Charles, Wife Visit New York

The Associated Press
Monday, January 29, 2007; 6:22 AM

NEW YORK -- Prince Charles chatted with students about investing in stocks, accepted an environmental award from Al Gore and even played a little basketball on his visit to New York City.

Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, arrived in New York from Philadelphia by private train Sunday and toured the Harlem Children's Zone, which operates the Promise Academy charter school and a range of social services and programs dedicated to the betterment of Harlem.

The royal couple watched a group of 10 middle-school pupils evaluate stocks as part of an after-school program that teaches them about finances.

When Camilla learned that they receive real money if their virtual stock investments are successful, she exclaimed, "That's fantastic."

The children don't lose money if their investments are unsuccessful.

Pupil Tiffany Vargas, 13, asked Charles if his multimillion-dollar line of organic foods, Duchy Originals, was on the stock market.

"No," he told her, "it's still a private company. We haven't got quite to that stage yet."

Afterward, the couple went on a terrace giving them a panoramic view of Harlem, including the office building where former President Clinton has an office and the Hotel Theresa, where Cuban leader Fidel Castro stayed decades ago. They then visited a health clinic where children, sitting at computers, learned about asthma.

Charles and Camilla watched a rehearsal of a scene from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and a basketball practice. Handed the ball, Charles dribbled and shot. His first attempt was an airball, but he made his second, drawing applause.

One student player, Mouhamed Mbaye, 14, said the school was lucky to have a royal visit.

"Others schools the prince didn't (visit)," he said. "He decided to come here."

Arona Pratt, the mother of another player, said: "I think it's great. My son was up all night waiting for this. They looked much nicer in person than they do on TV."

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