The Prince, who had been given intensive briefing and practice sessions in presenting official awards, was handing out Queen”s birthday honours in the Caribbean nation of Grenada when his worst fears came true.
He and his aides had worried that one might not stay on and, sure enough, when he pinned a British Empire Medal to the chest of retired farmer Reginald Sparks, it dropped to the floor as Harry stepped back.
The Prince quickly bent down, picked it up off the floor and put it back on Mr Sparks, 72.
Harry, 32, has undertaken a number of investitures during a 15-day tour of seven Caribbean nations. Until this tour, his only other investiture was in Nepal earlier this year when he gave the MBE to a Gurkha soldier. He also gave Archbishop Desmond Tutu an honorary award in Cale Town last year.
Harry handed out honours tonight on behalf of the Queen at a reception in Grenada hosted by the country”s Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade and attended by its Prime Minister Keith Mitchell.
Similar receptions in other countries on the tour have been held at Government House, the official residence of the Queen”s representative in countries where she is head of state.
But tonight”s reception was held at a five star hotel, Spice Island Beach Resort, because Grenada”s Government House had never been fully repaired since sustaining severe damage in Hurricane Ivan, which destroyed thousands of homes on the island in September 2004.
Before the reception, Harry had brief meetings with Dame Cecile and Dr Mitchell, giving the Prime Minister a signed framed photo of himself and the Governor General a picture of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.
She gave him a painting of Kirani James, who gave Grenada its first Olympic medal when he won gold in the 400 metres at the London 2012 games.
In a speech at the reception, Harry announced that the Queen was offering nine scholarships, one for each of her Caribbean Commonwealth realms, offering young workers in the hospitality industry the chance to train at Buckingham Palace for six weeks next year.
He told guests: “This has been another memorable and inspiring day on this wonderful tour. Thank you for such a warm, unforgettable and colourful Grenadian welcome.”
He joked that he should have been wearing the national colours.
“I only wish I was wearing either a green, red or yellow shirt! Next time!” he said.