Through their mutual love of sport, Harry developed a great friendship with Edward, Prince of Wales. One evening in 1921, shortly after Harry returned from reporting on the Carpentier-Dempsey fight in the US, the Prince invited Harry to dine with him at Sir Sidney Greville‘s house in Hove. After their ‘happy little dinner’ the Prince, not wanting the evening to end, asked where they could go. Harry at first couldn’t think of anywhere as he was very aware that Brighton was ‘an early-to-bed-town’, but then he remembered the Palace Pier Follies were performing at the Pier. “The very thing” said the Prince, so off they sped along the coast road, on this July summer’s evening, to the pier in Harry’s small Oakland open-top motor car.
When they arrived the programme was nearly over. “Do you think they would play some more songs?” asked the Prince. “They would sing all night for the Prince” remarked Harry. The Follies performers sang ten more songs and then the Prince shook hands and thanked every one of them. ‘Not one of the Follies troupe went to bed that night, so thrilled were they’.
Top image: The Palace Pier Follies, c1910. These were one of many groups of Brighton entertainers who performed on the pier and the surrounding seafront. Shown here dressed as Pierrot clowns. Pierrot troupes were popular in seaside towns throughout Britain in the early twentieth century. Photo courtesy Brighton Museums.