Prince Harry meets Saffron Walden air cadet

PUBLISHED: 13:49 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 22:13 31 May 2010

Prince Harry

Prince Harry

A CADET from Saffron Walden was in Royal spirits yesterday (Tuesday) after receiving a surprise visit from Prince Harry. The prince, third in line to the throne, took time out from official duties to join youngsters on a training exercise in South Wales.

A CADET from Saffron Walden was in Royal spirits yesterday (Tuesday) after receiving a surprise visit from Prince Harry.

The prince, third in line to the throne, took time out from official duties to join youngsters on a training exercise in South Wales.

They had travelled to the Black Mountains in Powys where they had expected to undertake a 25km trek alone.

But they were stunned when Prince Harry met them on the final leg of the walk back to base near Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons.

A total of 60 cadets from across the UK took part in the hike, ahead of a three-week expedition to Lesotho, Africa, setting out in July.

Among them was Saffron Walden air cadet Alexandra Whittle.

While overseas, they will be trekking through the Drakensburg mountains, making tours of military sites, and supporting the Prince's charity, Sentebale.

The prince, who was in the Army branch of the cadets, said he was "truly honoured" to be patron of the expedition.

He told them: "You will really enjoy it, it will be a hell of an adventure."

"Once you have met them your lives will be very, very different because you will have an understanding you never thought you would of the way people have to live out there."

He added that they would enjoy "a bit of hard labour, a bit of digging, a bit of baby cradling for the girls and maybe the boys".

The three-week trip will give the youngsters the opportunity to work on various Sentebale development projects such as house building and school renovations.

Prince Harry launched the charity in 2006 with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to help children and young people orphaned as a result of HIV and AIDS.

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