Prince William and Prince Harry have helped to defend an English village from flooding near the queen’s castle in Windsor.
The royal brothers joined soldiers unloading sandbags and moving them to protect homes in Datchet from rising water levels in the River Thames. January was the wettest month in Britain for almost 250 years, and tens of thousands of people are flooded or without power. Over 2,000 military personnel are helping with relief efforts across the south of England.
The princes spent the morning in the village of Datchet, just over a mile across the River Thames from their grandmother’s castle at Windsor.
Local official Graham Leaver said he wasn’t expecting the princes to show up. “They came into our parish office and it took most of us a few minutes to realize they were there,” he told the UK Press Association. “They were very involved and wanting to know what was going on. They have been in Datchet and the area and I think it’s gone down very well.”
William and Harry were dressed in waterproof overalls and Wellington boots. “To be honest, they could have walked in among people here and nobody would have recognised them looking at the way they were dressed” says Leaver.
A spokesman from Kensington Palace said the princes wanted to show their support for flood victims. Harry is still an officer with the Household Cavalry regiment, which has been helping with flood relief.
The queen is also helping, but not with the sandbagging. Buckingham Palace says she has sent animal feed and bedding from Windsor to farms affected by the flooding.