Today, the Duke of Cambridge and his younger brother, Prince Harry, joined the BBC’s DIY SOS program to build a Manchester community for veterans of the Armed Forces.
Eight of the homes are being designed for those who sustained injuries on the battlefield, while other structures (and the street itself) are being given a facelift. A support center is also being built in the neighborhood, run by the Royal British Legion and Walking With the Wounded, both of which enjoy the involvement of the princes.
The Wales men joined presenter Nick Knowles and hundreds of volunteers, donning personalized hard hats, steel-toe boots and safety vests before rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.
Both princes are heavily involved with charities that support rehabilitation for veterans, and it meant the world to many who were at the site today.
— DIY SOS (@DIYSOS) September 23, 2015
After watching Harry lay down concrete for a garden, Project manager Mark Millar told the Daily Mail that his new team member was a “legend,” adding that Harry was welcome to “work on a site” of Millar’s “any time he likes.”
Millar went on to praise the royal’s handiwork. “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 – he was joking a lot about his rubber mallet – but he didn’t do too badly.” In typical little brother fashion, Harry took the piss out of William, offering to go over the father-of-two‘s paint job. “Was that the wall he was working on?” Harry asked. “I can tell. Give me that roller and let me do it properly.”
Thanks to everyone involved with @DIYSOS in #Manchester! Good luck for the final stages of the build #DIYSOSVeterans pic.twitter.com/mMhVHh5pX4 — Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 23, 2015
The attention William and Harry have brought to projects like this go beyond just putting a roof over someone’s head. Everyone there – volunteers and injured vets alike – were grateful to have helping hands that make such an impact.
“I think it gives everyone a reward for doing this,” Paul Murphy, who served with the Second Battalion Royal Irish Rangers and in the Falkland, told the Daily Mail after shaking hands with William.
“He thanked me and said well done, It was very nice. It’s nice to give something back – they have all been doing, for nothing, companies all putting in their own time, people just walking off the streets to help. It’s a bit of a reward to see the Royals here today.”
Former Irish Guard Lamin Manneh (below), who lost both legs and an arm in Afghanistan, told the princes that he cannot read a bedtime story to his children since he’s unable to climb the stairs at his current home. Manneh will be moving into one of the specially designed homes in Manchester.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 23, 2015
The DIY SOS special will air on October 14th and 21st in the UK.