Prince Harry flew in to surprise students at The Duke of York's Royal Military School in Dover on Monday. The 31-year-old royal delighted hundreds of pupils as he arrived in Kent by helicopter to inspect the school's ceremonial parade and present medals to some of the schoolchildren.
Students were waiting in their parade uniforms not knowing the identity of the VIP visitor as his helicopter landed in the school grounds shortly after 10am. As Harry stepped out, the youngsters were overwhelmed - the royal is a popular role model among attendees of school.
Prince Harry paid a surprise visit to The Duke of York's Royal Military School
Dressed in his military uniform, popular Harry took the time to talk to nearly every pupil on the front row as he inspected the guards. He then presented medals to five of the school's students before attending an informal reception, where he was able to spend more time talking to the excited youngsters.
Chris Russell, the school’s Executive Principal, said: "Prince Harry’s visit meant a great deal to students as his military career is an inspiration. Many of our students have parents serving overseas, and in conflicts previously experienced by Prince Harry himself. This occasion will be something students will treasure all of their lives."
The Prince presented medals to five of the school's students
The Duke of York's Royal Military School is a boarding school with a rich military ethos and heritage, and is particularly popular with families with parents serving in the Armed Forces. It is open to children between the ages of 11 and 18. Harry, of course, has strong links to the Army; in June, he ended his decade-long military career, which included two tours of Afghanistan.Speaking earlier this year about his decision to initially join the Forces, Harry said: "I did it because since I was a kid I enjoyed wearing the combats, I enjoyed running around with a rifle, jumping in a ditch and living in the rain, and stuff.
Harry then attended an informal reception at the boarding school
"But then when I grew up, it became more than that. It became an opportunity for me to escape the limelight. I've had an epic ten years, I've had great fun. The Army keep giving me great jobs, and I can never thank them enough for that."Despite leaving the Army in June, Harry's commitment to the Armed Forces remains steadfast. He has worked tirelessly to support military personnel, in particular helping wounded soldiers with their rehabilitation.