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William didn't let the rain or his brother's imminent departure for Iraq dampen his good spirits on an annual march to pay tribute to war veterans
Photo: © Rex
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It was the second year running that Harry was taking part in the Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Association annual parade, which traditionally calls for bowler hats and brollies
Photo: © Getty Images

Wills and Harry keep spirits up on bowler-hat parade

14 MAY 2007

More usually seen to favour baseball caps, Prince William and his brother Harry donned bowler hats on Sunday to take part in a time-honoured annual parade from London's Hyde Park in remembrance of British war veterans.

In sober suits, black hats and regimental ties, the brothers chatted to each other before lining up for the Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Association, whose dress code goes back to the First World War.

Harry and Wills, both Second Lieutenants in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry, joined more than 1,000 serving and former officers marching before their aunt, Princess Anne to pay tribute to their fallen countrymen.

According to tradition, umbrellas are carried but must not be unfurled, meaning the siblings were soon soaking wet as they walked the half-mile route. The grim weather did nothing to dampen the spirits of the royal soldiers, though, who joked with army pals and veterans before the start of the march.

It was the first time William has taken part as he was still a cadet last year when Harry attended. On what may be the younger Wales brother's last public appearance before he goes off to war in Iraq, it was a poignant occasion. Cornet Wales, as Harry is known in the army, is expected to fly out to Iraq in the coming days on a six-month posting as an armoured reconnaissance troop leader.

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