12 OCTOBER 2007

It's been five years since Prince Harry performed an official royal duty solo, but when he stepped out to support an organisation of which he is patron on Thursday night it was clear he was quickly getting back into the swing of things.

The 23-year-old, who wore a conservative suit and a was sporting a casual tousled hairstyle, was attending a reception to mark 50 successful missions for disaster relief organisation MapAction. While full time commitments with the Army mean he is unable to fulfill as many royal duties as other members of his family, Harry seemed to slip easily back into the role as he chatted enthusiastically to charity workers and volunteers.

Already a patron for the organisation - which helps facilitate support for the distribution of humanitarian aid to disaster zones - the Prince is to take his involvement to a new level by a stint training with the group. "We're hoping the Prince may be able to deploy with us," said a spokesperson.

The last time the Prince fulfilled a royal engagement on his own was in 2002, when he undertook a range of commitments to mark turning 18.

Photo: ©
Thursday's event was Harry's first solo engagement since 2002Photo: © PA Click photos to enlarge
Photo: ©
The third-in-line to the throne chats to volunteers at the MapAction reception Photo: © PA