Prince Harry got a ticking-off from a 91-year-old D-Day veteran for not wearing a tie as he met a group of comrades preparing to mark the anniversary of the Normandy invasion.
The prince was meeting 45 veterans at Southwick House, Southwick, where the Allied commanders planned the military action that changed the course of the Second World War.
But as Harry arrived, he immediately became aware that he was a little under-dressed for the occasion as he was wearing shirt and suit but no tie.
He asked John Phipps, founder of the D-Day Revisited charity, which organises visits to the Normandy beaches each year: ‘Are they all wearing ties in there? I should have worn a tie. Oh well, it’s too late now.’
Then when he met Ivor Anderson, a sapper in the 591 Para Squadron Royal Engineers, he was told off jokingly for not wearing the right attire.
Harry replied to him: ‘I was told not to wear a tie and then you all turn up wearing ties, I feel under-dressed.’
Afterwards, Mr Anderson, from Salford, Manchester, said: ‘I told him he should wear a bloody tie. I said I had a spare one, he said he couldn’t wear mine because he didn’t have his wings.’
Harry spent time meeting and chatting to many of the veterans including John Dennett, from Wallasey, Wirral, and Frank Diffell, from Melksham, Wiltshire, who are both 91.
He said to them: ‘I have so much respect for you guys - running off a boat on to those beaches.’
Harry then wished them well on their trip to France for the commemorations and added: ‘Don’t get into trouble and if you do, don’t get caught.’
After posing for a group photo with the veterans, he told them: ‘Enjoy the week, share the memories.’
During his visit to Southwick House, Harry visited the Map Room where the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D Eisenhower, with naval Commander-in-Chief Admiral Ramsay and Army Commander-in-Chief General Montgomery plotted the campaign.
They used a large plywood map of the English Channel, which was big enough to fill an entire wall of the old drawing room, which was commissioned by the firm Chad Valley Toys and was installed in the house in April 1944.
The pins, tapes and markers on the map have now been reset to mark the moment when the landings began on the British and Canadian beaches on D-Day.
D-Day Revisited has been organising trips for the annual pilgrimage to France for D-Day veterans since 2008, providing medical support as many of the retired servicemen get older and less mobile.