The Prince of Wales and Prime Minister David Cameron have paid a pre-Christmas visit to injured troops being treated at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham.
The prince and Mr Cameron arrived amid light but persistent snow to visit service personnel being cared for by both military and civilian staff at the unit at the newly-opened Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
They were welcomed at the main entrance to the £545 million hospital by its medical director, Dave Rosser, and the commanding officer of the RCDM, Group Captain Wendy Williams.
Mr Cameron and the Prince, who was wearing a Parachute Regiment tie and a Royal British Legion pin, then spent around 20 minutes chatting with military carers and hospital staff in a public reception area.
The RCDM, which cares for soldiers wounded in Afghanistan, manages a dedicated 32-bed ward at the hospital.
Charles has made regular visits in recent years to the RCDM, which moved its medical facilities to the new hospital from the nearby Selly Oak Hospital in June.
His Royal Highness last visited the unit with the Duchess of Cornwall in July, spending nearly three hours meeting injured service personnel, their families and military and civilian medical staff.
The Prime Minister was invited by Charles to join him for this afternoon's private visit to those being treated at the RCDM.
Helen Gyves, the hospital's matron for critical care, said the Prince showed a deep interest in the military patients, some of them severely injured.
The Prime Minister's presence made the occasion doubly special for the injured military patients, the matron added.
Ms Gyves said: "They particularly love Prince Charles. From the military point of view, he is their icon. He always comes throughout the year but it's turning into a bit of a tradition that he comes at Christmas.
"He knows which regiment each patient is from and he often knows how their injuries have happened. To them, for him to come is very special."