Feb. 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM ET
Prince William and Prince Harry spent Valentine’s Day putting their hearts, along with their heft, into helping a flood-hit village in southern England.
The royal brothers joined military soldiers to haul sandbags early Friday morning in Datchet, Berkshire, where homeowners have been struggling to protect their homes against rising floods.
The two princes worked with members of the Household Cavalry, for whom Harry is an officer. William also was attached to the regiment before he retired from the military service last September.
Their visit was unannounced but news crews and photographers followed the pair once word about their work spread about five hours into their effort. At one point, Prince William asked one reporter to help out. The journalist tried but was told he couldn't because he didn't have appropriate clothing.
Another reporter asked Harry whether he was enjoying the work.
"Not really, with you guys around,” he replied, according to the Press Association, a UK news agency.
Graham Leaver, a clerk at the Datchet parish council, praised the princes for their involvement.
"They were very natural. To be honest, they could have walked in among people here and nobody would have recognized them looking at the way they were dressed,” he told the Press Association of the two princes, clad in Wellington boots and waterproof outerwear.
Queen Elizabeth also lent her aid to flood victims in the area, according to a Buckingham Palace spokesman who said the monarch contributed food and bedding from the royal farms at Windsor.
Both Prince William and Prince Harry have been known to show their heroic sides in the past, often at unexpected moments. William, a former search-and-rescue pilot, once saved the life of a teenager after the girl got caught in a riptide. And Harry came to the aid of an injured polo player after a collision during a charity match in Brazil.