Prince Harry leaves the airport in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Making his first solo tour, the third in line to the British throne was to kick off the event late Friday from the top of Rio’s iconic Sugarloaf Mountain following festivities with samba dance and capoeira martial art presentations, according to the British embassy in Brasilia.

The GREAT campaign aims to highlight what makes Britain great in 2012, as the country celebrates 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and hosts the summer Olympics, according to British officials.

The aim is also to deliver long-term economic benefits from the interest generated by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Britain is the fourth largest foreign investor in Brazil and the event will showcase many of the top British businesses operating in the country, including BP.

Last December, Latin America’s dominant power displaced Britain as the world’s sixth largest economy.

More than 700 top investors, artists, cultural leaders, entrepreneurs and opinion-makers from across Brazil have been invited to the event, which will also celebrate the strong ties between Britain and Brazil and forge new relationships across a range of sectors.

Prince Harry will be greeted at the launch by Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes, Rio State Governor Sergio Cabral as well as by the Samba band Uniao da Ilha, who paraded at this year’s Rio Carnival to the theme of London to Rio, the two cities which will respectively host the 2012 and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Guests will enjoy an exclusive menu prepared by top British and Brazilian chefs Marcus Wareing and Roberta Sudbrack, while a GREAT cocktail designed specifically for the event by Claridge’s hotel will be served in a bar created by London’s renowned Groucho Club.

On Saturday, Prince Harry, who earlier this month visited Belize and Jamaica, will take part in a British and Brazilian-themed sports day on Flamengo beach.

On Sunday, the prince was to take part in a polo match in Sao Paulo to raise money for Sentabale, his charity in Lesotho, and several local charities.

His tour is one of several being made by British royals in 2012 as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Harry’s older brother Prince William and his wife Catherine are to travel to the Asia-Pacific region, while heir to the throne Prince Charles and his wife Camilla will visit countries including Australia and Canada.


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