22 APRIL 2008

Prince Harry boosted the spirits of the injured soldiers he's described as the real heroes of the Armed Forces, by dropping in to check on their recovery. Accompanied by his brother William, the 23-year-old Prince, who served on the frontline in Afghanistan for ten weeks, met marines wounded fighting the Taliban.

The most emotional moment of the trip to a Forces medical facility in Surrey came when Harry, an officer with the Blues and Royals regiment, came face to face with a soldier, who'd flown back to Britain, critically injured, on the same plane as him.

Harry said he'd been "humbled" by his private meeting with 21-year-old Ben McBean, who lost a leg and arm in an attack. "Harry came rushing up to me as soon as I walked in," Ben told The Sun newspaper. "He said 'Hi, I'm the guy who was on the plane with you. I was staring at you for half an hour. I'm Harry - it's a real honour to finally meet you properly."

The purpose of the visit was to draw attention to the City Salute Appeal, which the brothers support and which raises funds for servicemen and women in need of treatment.

On May 7 a fundraising pageant will be held on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral featuring Joss Stone, who has agreed to perform as a personal favour to the royal siblings.

Photo: ©
The royal soldiers heartened Army comrades recovering from their injuries at specialist rehab centre Headley Court in SurreyPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
Harry was particularly moved by his private meeting with Royal Marine Ben McBean, who was treated after seeing action in Afghanistan, where the Prince also served Photo: © Getty Images
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