The royal spent part of the romantic holiday away from Meghan Markle as he traveled to Norway to visit service members.

By Simon Perry and Stephanie Petit /
February 15, 2019
Credit: Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty Images

This is probably not how Prince Harry imagined his first Valentine’s Day as a married man!

The 34-year-old royal spent part of the romantic holiday away from Meghan Markle as he traveled to Norway to visit service members and learn how they deal with extreme cold weather. However, the British troops still made sure his wife, who is expecting their first child, was not forgotten.

Harry was welcomed inside Quincey Shelter, a version of an igloo dug out and used in emergencies in extreme temperatures, which was specially decorated with candles, mood music and even photos of him and Meghan from their royal wedding!

Credit: Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty Images
Credit: Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty Images

Spotting the photographs of his wedding, including the couple’s public debut on the steps on St. George’s Chapel and their carriage ride around Windsor, the Duke of Sussex laughed, “You weirdos! Nice.”

“It’s very kind of you to invite me into your private, err, shrine,” he added, proclaiming it “romantic.”

As Harry stepped back outside, he said, “Homely in there, isn’t it? It starts to get a little bit weird after a while.”

Sergeant Ads Lesley said that the wedding photos seemed “almost a bit of a shock” to Harry, who he said “had a chuckle to himself.”

“He had a smile on his face,” the sergeant said of their royal visitor. “We had some chill-out music on, just to show how creative you can be.”

During his time on the base, Harry saw footage of servicemen undergoing their grueling ice water plunge and joined the troops for a hot buffet lunch in the mess, away from the cameras so he could talk to the men and women. He also viewed the Wild Cat and Apache helicopters, admitting, “I miss my pilot days.”

The prince had asked some practical questions about the shelters, before moving on to personal questions about the troops’ welfare.

“Did you all get your other halves a card and some flowers?” Harry joked about the holiday.

“He was really keen to engage,” Sgt. Lesley said. “He asked if they had got their girlfriends or wives or partners flowers for Valentine’s Day – he was keen to make sure no one was in trouble.”

Before leaving, the Duke was asked to cut a cake celebrating the 50th anniversary of Exercise Clockwork, which featured a helicopter made from rice crispies and marshmallows.

Quizzing Leading Chef Matt Roberts, he learned the troops had a larger daily food budget to account for the extra calories they need in the cold, joking, “No wonder you’re all so happy.”

Wielding a sword, he ceremonially cut the cake, shouting “Happy birthday!” to dozens of men and women gathered in the hanger.

“It’s really nice to see you all and know that you’re having a good time out here. Use every single day as an experience, and bring that back. I hope you can make the most of it,” he told them. “I know lots of you have left your families at home to be out here. It’s hugely appreciated. And you still have a smile on your face. Congratulations on your 50th anniversary.”

After the three-hour visit, Harry climbed back into the small charter plane to fly home – back at Kensington Palace just in time for a Valentine’s Day dinner.

Thanks to her former love of social media and her now defunct lifestyle website, The Tig, the Duchess of Sussex has given us major insight into her romantic side.

Meghan once wrote: “Without fail, every February 14th, I wake up feeling like I’m immersed in a Robert Doisneau photo, waiting with bated breath to be dipped into a kiss. This is all happening in black and white, of course. And in Paris, if I had my way. But delusions of francophile grandeur aside, Valentine’s Day is special wherever you happen to find yourself. And in terms of gifts, be it breakfast in bed, a sweet love note, or a single flower, it really is the thought that counts.”

This Story Originally Appeared On People