Donning personalized hard hats, jeans and vests, the brothers fit right in with the other laborers

By Simon Perry
September 23, 2015 11:15 AM
Phil Noble/Getty(2)

Who knew the royal brothers were so handy?

Prince William and Prince Harry rolled up their sleeves and showed off their DIY skills as they helped renovate homes for Armed Forces veterans on Wednesday morning.

Donning personalized hard hats, jeans and vests, the brothers fit right in with the other laborers – ex-servicemen and women and hundreds of volunteers – as they put the finishing touches to a special project in Manchester.

William, 33, grabbed a roller and helped paint walls, while Harry, 31, joined a crew laying some paving slabs. The project is for an upcoming special veterans episode for the BBC makeover series, DIY SOS.

Prince William paints a wall as he helps renovate homes for ex-service personnel.
Phil Noble/Getty

The DIY show is renovating eight buildings, rejuvenating the front of 62 homes and improving the street in a gritty part of Manchester. The homes are being constructed for servicemen and women and long-standing residents. Twenty-six houses are being set aside for veterans.

After being briefed about their tasks, William raised an eyebrow at his younger brother and said challengingly, “Game on.”

Harry teased some workers who had stopped to take selfies, asking them, “Don’t you have some work to be getting on with?”

Project manager Mark Millar called Prince Harry “a legend,” adding, “He can come and work on a site of mine anytime he likes.”

Prince Harry prepares to lay paving slabs.
Phil Noble/Getty

He told reporters, “Harry really got stuck in laying the slabs. There was no airs or graces. He was a really great lad.”

“There was quite a bit of banter about whether he was laying them properly ,” Millary continued. “He was joking a lot about his rubber mallet, but he didn’t do too badly.”

And he was able to tease his big brother, who had been painting a wall inside one of them homes.

“Was that the wall he was working on?” Harry asked. “I can tell. Give me that roller and let me do it properly.”

The project will also see the development a new support center, which will be run by a charity that Harry backs, Walking with the Wounded. The organization is currently hosting the inaugural Walk of Britain in support of wounded veterans.

Both endeavors are part of the former serving soldiers’ ongoing efforts to help injured and wounded former servicemen and women. Harry left the Army after a decade in June, while William left operational service in the Royal Air Force in September 2013.

Their spokesman says, “As the memory of conflicts fade and public focus beings to move elsewhere, both The Duke and Prince Harry will continue to draw attention to the ongoing challenges facing service personnel making the transition to civilian life.”

The princes’ office says that while servicemen and women have made “great personal sacrifices for our country,” they account for a large percentage of the homeless in Britain. At the same time, there are currently over half a million empty properties in England.

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