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Friday, 29 March, 2002, 13:45 GMT
Stricken Harry takes to slopes
Prince Harry with Prince Charles in Switzerland
Prince Harry says he will "take it easy" on the slopes
Prince Harry has shrugged off glandular fever to join his brother Prince William on the ski slopes in Switzerland.

The brothers are enjoying a family holiday with their father the Prince of Wales in their favourite resort of Klosters.

It was Harry's first appearance in front of the cameras since he admitted smoking cannabis and drinking under age.

Asked how he had settled down after all the publicity, he said: "Fine, thank you."


The prince contracted the infection just before the trip, but said on Good Friday he was determined it would not hamper his enjoyment of the week.

St James's Palace said the prince had taken doctor's orders and was able to take part in the skiing holiday.

The Prince of Wales and his sons were relaxed and jovial as they climbed a small snowy slope and posed for the cameras leaning against a rock against a backdrop of a picturesque Alpine valley.

Prince Harry on ski slope
Harry - "I'm fine"

Asked how he was feeling and if the doctors had given him any special instructions, 17-year-old Harry replied: "Just take it easy."

Charles chipped in: "He can't do anything unpleasant to his father."

Glandular fever comes from a virus transferred by saliva or mucus - giving it the reputation of a "kissing disease" - and can often mean patients are laid low for weeks.

'Kissing disease'

The symptoms, which are similar to flu, include extreme tiredness, painful limbs, loss of appetite and swollen glands.

The condition varies in its severity and the prince may only have a mild form.

If Harry was slightly shy at the photocall, William, wearing jeans and an orange "SOS" canvas jacket, was more confident, asking the ranks of photographers who had climbed the slope: "Are any of you lot going skiing?"

Princes Charles, Harry and William joke on the slopes
Charles "too old" for snowboarding

Asked if anyone was planning to try snowboarding this year, it was William who replied first, saying: "I'm definitely going to give it a try, but I don't know how long I'll last on it."

William, who flew to Switzerland from St Andrews University, was asked how he was finding student life and said: "Fun, very good fun. I'm enjoying it a lot".

His 53-year-old father was less enthusiastic about snowboarding.

"I tried it and all I did was fall on the old injuries, so I'm not doing it again. I know when I'm too old for something," Charles said.

Late snow

The boys have brought four friends with them on the holiday: Harry Legge-Bourke - the younger brother of their former nanny - and three friends from Eton.

The Prince of Wales is being joined by his regular piste companion, Charlie Palmer-Tomkinson, among others.

He is a Hampshire landowner and former Olympic skier, who owns a home in Klosters less than 100 yards from the Walserhof Hotel, where the princes are staying.

The princes have left their holiday until late in the ski season, mainly because of school and university holidays.

There was a fresh snow fall earlier this week, but two Klosters staff had to cover up the patch picked for the photocall, which was melting, before the royal party arrived.

The BBC's Jennie Bond
"The princes will be relying entirely on the goodwill of the media to leave them alone in the coming days"
See also:

12 Jan 02 | UK
Harry: Brave young prince
07 Apr 00 | UK
Princes relax on the slopes
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