Prince Harry celebrated his 31st birthday Tuesday, but unfortunately for the British royal, his special day did not go according to plan. Despite the hiccup, he was still all smiles and even managed to do a good deed.
E! Online reports that Prince Harry, who was photographed sporting a new, scruffy look, had plans to fulfill his royal duties by flying planes used by the Royal Air Force during World War II while visiting Goodwood Aerodrome in Chichester, West Essex, England. The flyby event was done in remembrance of those who fought in the historic Battle of Britain in 1940. But because of inclement weather and a broken-down plane, he was reportedly unable to fly one of the nearly 40 Spitfire, Hurricane and Blenheim planes.
“Prince Harry had planned to take to the clouds for a flypast alongside veterans and wounded servicemen in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain,” E! Online reports.
Prince Harry reportedly gave up his spot in one of the planes to allow Tom Neil, the 95-year-old “last living Royal Air Force ace,” to have a ride after one of the four planes set to take off was deemed out of service. According to the Daily Mail, the prince was scheduled take an hourlong flight in a PV202 flown by the Aircraft Restoration Co.’s John Romaine. Kensington Palace’s Twitter account later posted a photo of Prince Harry holding Neil’s hand while he was aboard one of the planes.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 15, 2015
Prince Harry’s appearance at Goodwood Aerodrome was his first in the U.K. since returning from a three-month conservation trip to Africa this month. The former Apache aircraft commander, who was joined by veterinarian and WildlifeNOW field adviser Pete Morkel during his trip, referred to the experience as his “dream job” in a statement prior to leaving.