Prince Harry with 95-year-old Wing Commander Tom Neil in 2015Credit:John Stillwell/PA The Duke of Sussex writes to Spitfire pilots He has previously met Mr Jones ahead of a special flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, when he was supposed to be his passenger in a two-seater Spitfire. The Duke of Sussex has written to Spitfire pilots to wish them luck on their “audacious attempt” to fly around the world, conceding he has “more than a tinge of jealousy” after learning of their adventure. The Duke, who flew Apache helicopters during his decade in the Army, reminded pilots Steve Brooks, 58, and Matt Jones, 45, to “have fun” in their record breaking round-the-world mission, as they took off from Goodwood in the 1943 aeroplane on Monday. The pair are attempting a mission they have called “The Longest Flight”, planning to fly a newly-restored original MK. IX Spitfire, named “Silver Spitfire”, around the globe in a world first. Over four months, 27,000 miles, 91 stages and 30 countries, the pilots plan to enter airspace no Spitfire has entered before in an astonishing restoration project to get the aeroplane that saw action in the Second World War before being grounded for 50 years flightworthy. In a letter sent to Mr Brooks and Mr Jones, the Duke sent a typed good luck message signed simply “Harry”, scribbling “And most importantly, have fun!” at the bottom in pen. It will cross climates from the frozen plains of Greenland to the deserts of Saudi Arabia.A spokesman said the project would be a chance to “commemorate all who flew the Spitfire in all the countries we visit”, reuniting the aeroplane with “many countries that haven’t seen it since it played an important role in World War Two”. A two-year restoration project has seen a team of specialist engineers and enthusiasts focus on repairing rather than replacing original parts, across 24,500 man hours.A few modern elements, including iPads and parachutes, have been added, with a small support team due to follow the Silver Spitfire on its mission. “I am sure this occasion will be equally, if not more so memorable for the both of you. “Your upcoming expedition will be an incredible feat of skill, endurance and engineering – no doubt supported by a dedicated crew. I send the whole team my best wishes for this great adventure.”In a handwritten post-script, on Kensington Palace headed paper, he added: “And most importantly, have fun! “All the best, Harry.”After taking off from Goodwood Aerodrome at 1.30pm on Monday, the Silver Spitfire was flown to Scotland where it will be escorted out of the UK by a Typhoon. Highlights of the planned four-month trip will see it join the Red Arrows in Ottawa to fly by the Canadian Parliament, pass over the Grand Canyon, Mount Fuji, the Taj Mahal and “victory rolling” over the Giza pyramids, as well as visits to British embassies and High Commissions around the world. “There’s something about a Spitfire that curdles one’s blood [and] livens up any conversation.“I think that’s because it stands for the freedom of humanity. It says, ‘We can stand up and we can survive. We can win’.” Sign up for our brilliant free newsletter, Your Royal Appointment, and get royal news and analysis sent straight to your inbox every Wednesday. Steve Boultbee-Brooks and Matt Jones at Goodwood AerodromeCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley Ahead of take-off, Mr Jones said: “I’m a bit nervous but excited to get going. It’s been a long time in planning and we’ve put a lot of work into this airplane.” Speaking to the Telegraph during preparations for The Longest Flight, Mr Brooks said: “It’s the most extraordinary thing that when a Spitfire flies over, people will run out of their offices and houses – young kids, women, men, everybody. Then, Prince Harry gave up his seat at the last minute to allow Wing Commander Tom Neil, a Battle of Britain veteran who received the Distinguished Flying Cross twice, to take his place. “I am writing with more than a tinge of jealousy, to wish you the very best of luck ahead of your audacious attempt to circumnavigate the globe in our most iconic and evocative aircraft,” he said. “I still have vivid memories of flying in a Spitfire on my visit to Boultbee in 2014. To be a spectator of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flypast was truly special and an experience I’ll never forget.