Prince Charles charmed a squadron of jaded British fliers with his common touch.
The Tornado F-3 interceptor pilots and their crew stood in a flight line nearly an hour Sunday for the 42-year-old prince."I suppose my family at home will probably hear about it. They'll probably enjoy that," Squadron Leader Paul Brown, 37, of Skegness, England, said.
"If he wants to come then I suppose he's welcome," said Cpl. Gary Southwell, 22, of Lincolnshire. "At least not everybody's forgotten us. "
What a difference a royal handshake makes.
"Fascinating, very charming, not quite what I expected," said Brown.
"He's just a normal bloke like you and me," said Southwell. "He wasn't like a royal. He was quite down to earth."
Charles, on the second day of a tour of British troops deployed in Saudi Arabia, was slim and natty in his Royal Air Force Group Captain's uniform.
When the heir to the throne toured a bomb shelter under construction by soldiers piling up sandbags, Staff Sgt. Mick Blomquist mused about how much he would enjoy seeing Diana.
"I think everybody does. She sort of lights the place up," he said with a twinkle in his eye. "It would have been a real morale boost. Unless she would have had to wear a chador," the black robes Islamic women must wear in public.
The soldier smiled at the thought.