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Princes William, Harry sandbag river

Prince William and Prince Harry are helping flood-hit U.K. villagers protect their homes, unloading sandbags alongside soldiers in the River Thames village of Datchet.

The princes, who have both served in the armed forces, joined a work crew Friday on what aides called a private visit.

England, which has been lashed by wind and rain since December, had its wettest January since records began in 1766. Storms this week have brought wind gusts over 100 mph (160 kph).

Hundreds of properties in the Thames Valley, west of London have been swamped after the river burst its banks.

The princes are not the only royals helping out. Their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, has sent feed and bedding from the royal farms at Windsor to U.K. farmers whose land has been inundated.

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