SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J. - Luckily, Prince Harry did not ask for a bucket of Curley's Fries.
"There's no power," confided Katie Burke, an employee of a still-not-quite-operational Casino Pier, the centerpiece of a town hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.
Undaunted, Burke and the rest of the commoners of Seaside Heights and nearby Mantoloking welcomed the third in line to the British throne Tuesday in his quest to see firsthand towns damaged by Sandy.
Gov. Christie, dressed in a striking lime-green button-down shirt that went nicely with the stylish redheaded royal heartthrob, dressed in a white shirt, served as the royal tour guide.
Both men wore shades as they toured a swath of Sandy destruction.
"This used to be a house?" Harry asked at one barren spot in Mantoloking, where all of the 521 homes were damaged or destroyed by the Oct. 29 storm.
Christie posted on his Twitter account that he greeted Prince Harry in Sea Girt, where he arrived by helicopter, "the best way I know how: With his own Royal Fleece."
As the motorcade passed Lavallette Elementary, schoolchildren stood out front waving American and British flags.
Christie spoke to Harry and pointed as they walked around the pier in Seaside Heights, taking in the sight of the iconic Jet Star roller coaster in the Atlantic Ocean, which, in a confluence of timing, was to begin being dismantled just hours after Harry's visit. A barge with a crane that would take it apart traversed the calm waters just beyond the coaster.
Harry said little else along the way, greeting first responders in Mantoloking and Seaside Heights, construction workers at the edge of the still-under-reconstruction pier, and various local officials and children. He won a Hello Kitty and Blue Elephant for two local girls - the lucky and well-situated daughters of the general manager of Casino Pier - by throwing Wiffle balls into holes in a board, in true low-tech, Jersey Shore arcade fashion.
Christie won a stuffed Angry Bird for a redheaded 7-year-old named Michael Vanover.
"I told the prince we have the same hair color," Michael reported for, he said, the "1,001st time."
"He said, 'Yes, I do.' "
"He asked me if I'd won any prizes. I said no, and he said he'd win me some," reported Taylor Cirigliano, 11, to the international press assembled. "I liked his personality."
The crowd against the barricade ran only about three deep, but gave their best "Harry!" high-pitched screams as the prince first appeared in Seaside.
"I thought it was exciting to see the prince," said Jasmine Seville, a fifth grader from Seaside Heights Elementary School.
"This is the proudest day of being a carpenter in all my life," said Leonardo Graci, who said he nailed in 90 percent of the new boards near the Casino Pier, including the area where the prince toured, which was completed just the day before.
The message for Harry was that the Shore was alive and well, and local officials hoped his little tour would drive that home to the world at large. The Seaside walkway is expected to be complete in a month.
"I think it's nice he came to see what happened from Hurricane Sandy," said Tina Certo of nearby Brick, who got a good look at the "gorgeous" prince from behind the barricades. "It was a nice gesture."
From the crowd, someone added, "I would have liked to have a drink with him."
The British press, hurrying from stop to stop, seemed resigned to a well-behaved Harry, who was thus far giving them little beyond the photo ops. By the end of his visit, some reporters were being diverted to Angelina Jolie mastectomy duty.
Penny Graischen, a Seaside councilwoman, appeared to have gotten the most response from Harry. "I asked him to take his sunglasses off, and I said, 'You're adorable,' " she said, still a bit breathless. "He said, 'So are you.' "
at 609-576-1973 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
or follow on Twitter @amysrosenberg.
This article contains information