Tom Neil was a wing commander in the Battle of Britain

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated December 22, 2015 01:30 PM
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Princess Kate and Prince William went for cute with their 2015 Christmas card, but with his own holiday offering, Prince Harry instead opted to pay tribute to the heroes of Britain’s past.

Kensington Palace revealed Harry’s Christmas card image on Twitter, Tuesday.

The royal chose a photo from the historic flypast in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, in which he participated this past September.

Harry welcomed veteran WWII pilots to the ground after the flypast, including 95-year-old Tom Neil, who is featured next to the prince on the card.

“Merry Christmas from Prince Harry,” Kensington Palace wrote. “Here’s his Christmas card photo showing one of his favourite moments from 2015.”

At the time of the flypast, Neil told PEOPLE that Harry was “very charming in every respect.”

In the card photo, Harry and Neil clasped hands while the latter sat perched in the cockpit of one of the vintage Spitfire planes.

“He was so keen to see me around and was so welcoming,” Neil shared with PEOPLE.

The veteran was one of the 3,000 Allied Forces pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain between July and October 1940, according to the Telegraph.

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Neil was a wing commander in the No. 249 Squadron, and took off 157 times during the battle’s 16 weeks. He told the Telegraph he only had to parachute out of his plane once at the time. The pilot later ended up training American flyers and participated in D-Day, he said.

“I was deeply privileged to be involved in the Battle of Britain,” he told The Telegraph. “I’ve had a wonderful life: sometimes dangerous, interesting, delightful, even.”

The September flypast included more than 30 planes – the largest since the actual 1940 battle. Neil led the charge, which was a tribute to the courageous fighters known best as “The Few.”