Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Prince Harry shows off beard as he returns to royal duties on his birthday

Prince Harry looks serious in the sun
Share this:

After spending three months in Africa, Prince Harry made his much-anticipated return to royal duties – and the handsome royal didn't disappoint. The Queen's grandson, who left the army in June, arrived at the Goodwood Aerodrome in Sussex on Tuesday morning sporting a new look.

A beaming and heavily bearded Harry made his entrance in military gear, and certainly had a lot to smile about. Not only was Harry celebrating his 31st birthday, but he chose to spend his special day honouring a cause close to his heart.

The prince was joining scholars from Endeavour Fund – a fund set up by the Royal Foundation to support the recovery of wounded and sick service personnel – for the Battle of Britain flypast.

prince harry1 © Photo: Rex

Prince Harry debuted a new look upon returning to the UK, after his three-month stint in Africa

The historic flypast featured around 40 Spitfires, Hurricanes and Blenheims from across the UK, USA and Europe flying across WW2 airfields over the South of England, to mark the 75th anniversary of the victorious Battle of Britain.

Harry started the engagement by attending a briefing given by Boultbee Academy. He then toured the flight line with pilots including Spitfire scholars Nathan and Alan, as a picture posted by Kensington Palace's official Twitter account showed.

tom neil © Photo: Getty Images

Harry was due to fly but gave up his seat for 95-year-old veteran Tom Neil

The royal was due to take to the skies in a two-seater Spitfire, however a mechanical failure meant his aircraft was deemed unserviceable.

Ever the gentleman, Harry gave up his place to enable Wing Commander Tom Neil DFC, AFC, AE, who is now 95, and two other wounded servicemen to fly. Due to the poor weather, take off was postponed from noon to 2pm. The flight was due to be led by Mr Tom Neil.

prince harry2 © Photo: Rex

The 31-year-old Prince was attending the Battle of Britain flypast on his birthday

The event on Harry's birthday will bring more Battle of Britain aircraft together in one place than at any time since World War Two, as a show of thanks from this generation to 'The Few' for the sacrifices they made.

It is the name given to the air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940. A service at St Paul's Cathedral in London was also held to mark the day.

The engagement and Harry's return to royal duties was confirmed by Kensington Palace at the start of the month, also in a series of tweets on Twitter.

Prior to his return to the royal circuit, the sporty Prince joked that he was a "bad uncle" for missing the christening of his niece Princess Charlotte. Charlotte, who is fourth-in-line to the throne, was born on 2 May and baptised two months later when Harry was in Africa.

More Royalty

See more