Prince William flew a dead soldier back from Afghanistan.

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The 25-year-old prince flew to the war zone as part of his RAF training and brought the body back with him. He then met the parents of 22-year-old trooper Robert Pearson, who was killed by a mine.

A military source revealed: “He was pleased to try to offer some degree of comfort to Trooper Pearson’s family.

“Prince William found the whole mission extremely moving.”

Some army officials wanted to make new arrangements to transport the body after realising William’s plane was involved, as they didn’t want him to be part of any controversy. However, the prince insisted the flight went ahead to spare the soldier’s family any further agony.

Yesterday (30.04.08), it was revealed William had made a secret trip to Afghanistan to visit British troops. The future king flew a military transport aircraft for part of the journey from the UK to Kandahar.

He then spent three hours on the ground meeting RAF personnel on Monday (28.04.08).

A Clarence House spokesman said William’s father Princes Charles and grandmother Queen Elizabeth had given their permission for the confidential trip, which had been a “success”.

William has recently been criticised for using RAF aircraft to fly him and his brother, Prince Harry, to a stag party in the Isle of White and for making a trip to his girlfriend Kate Middleton’s house.