HARRY PLUNGES INTO NAVAL TASKS WITH ENTHUSIASM ON PORTSMOUTH BASE VISIT

1 NOVEMBER 2007

Dressed head to toe in diving gear and smiling from ear to ear Prince Harry was clearly revelling in his latest official duty. The 23-year-old royal joined a Horsea Island diving squadron in a training exercise as part of his first visit to a Naval base since becoming the Royal Navy's Commodore-in-Chief of small ships and diving.

The soldier Prince, who's been in the news recently in connection with the shooting of rare birds on the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, is no stranger to underwater missions. His Army training included a diving expedition off the shores of Cyprus. And after watching the Royal Navy pros perform a mock rescue in the tank, Harry eagerly took to the water to carry out a task of his own.

Wearing a dry suit, fins and personalised diving hood emblazoned with the word 'Wales' - in the Army he's known as Cornet Wales - the Prince plunged into the tank and set about successfully bolting together a pipe and valve.

His dive was just one of several Navy-oriented activities organised for the visit. Earlier in the day he learned how to safely detonate letter bombs, limpet mines and a WWII anti-submarine device, as well as taking to the controls of a bomb disposal vehicle. While testing his skills with the latter the cheeky young royal sparked laughter among onlookers by swinging the machine's extending arm towards reporters. "He had a good sense of humour," said Chief Petty Officer Diver Dan Archer. "You could see exactly what he was doing moving that bomb disposal vehicle around."

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The soldier Prince got a taste of Naval duties when he joined a dive squad in an underwater exercise during a visit to a Portsmouth base in his capacity as Commodore-in-Chief of small ships and divingPhoto: © PA Click on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
It wasn't Harry's first underwater experience. He underwent dive training off the coast of Cyprus with the Army Photo: © PA