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Prince Charles Hits The Polo Fields Again

February 20, 1989

WELLINGTON, Fla. (AP) _ Prince Charles’ spent his second and last full day in Florida pretty much like his first: hobnobbing with socialites, playing polo before thousands of royal-watchers and raising money to help African wildlife.

The heir to the British throne left Palm Beach International Airport at 11:10 a.m. EST today for an official visit to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, an airport police spokesman said.

On Sunday, the prince went to the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club to play a match on behalf of Friends of Conservation, which raises money to help African wildlife. He did essentially the same thing in Vero Beach on Saturday.

The prince, protected by a 150-member security detail, also watched a display of animals by televison naturalist Jim Fowler for the second day in a row.

This time, however, a tawny eagle took off on an unscheduled flight over the grandstand. A few minutes later, the bird of prey was retrieved by her handler, Steve Hoddy of Silver Springs.

Afterward, Charles lunched in a tent by the polo field with about 600 club members and members of Palm Beach society who paid $275 per couple for the event. There was also an auction of donated items including paintings, a French barging trip and an ebony-and-gold necklace.

The proceeds will benefit Friends of Conservation, founded by the prince’s friends, Geoffrey and Jorie Kent.

No totals were available for the weekend’s fund raising, but a similar event last year raised about $85,000, said spokesman Mark Shafir.

Charles again played for the Windsor Park team. He didn’t score, but did manage an assist as the squad defeated Palm Beach 9-5.

On Saturday, the prince scored a goal as Windsor Park won a 10-7 victory over a Greenwich, Conn., team to take the first annual Prince of Wales Cup contest.

This was Charles’ fifth trip to Florida since 1980. This time, he wasn’t accompanied by his wife Diana or their two children.

Almost 9,000 people turned up for the event on a sunny 80-degree afternoon. Most paid $10 each for general admission seats.

As she watched him through a pair of binoculars, Hilda Savage fantasized about having the prince over for a visit.

″I think I would serve him wine. I wouldn’t give him a Miller Lite,″ she said. ″I wouldn’t put him in the kitchen either. He’d be in the living room.″

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