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Harry hoping to start Arctic walk

Prince Harry's intrepid Arctic adventure is finally poised to get under way.

The 26-year-old was due to leave the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen on Friday with a group of wounded servicemen aiming to walking to the North Pole.

But their departure was put on hold because of dangerous winds around where they will land - Borneo Ice Airfield - about 200 miles from the North Pole, where the airstrip is being built.

The team was due to move out on Sunday afternoon but the airfield was still not ready. The group is scheduled to leave at 4pm (3pm GMT) on Monday.

Gales at the Arctic airstrip delayed the building of the runway, then winds in Murmansk were blowing in the wrong direction for a heavily loaded supply plane to take off.

The third-in-line to the throne has been on the island since Tuesday, training and bonding with the servicemen who aim to raise £2 million for the Walking With The Wounded charity.

The delays mean Prince Harry will only have three nights on the ice, rather than the planned five days, as he will be collected on Thursday and return home to fulfil military commitments - an important stage of his Apache helicopter training.

The wounded soldiers all sustained their injuries fighting in Afghanistan. Captain Martin Hewitt, 30, from Cheshire, was left with a paralysed right arm after being shot and Captain Guy Disney, 29, from Oxford, was hit by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). His right leg was amputated below the knee.

Sergeant Stephen Young, 28, from Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf, suffered a broken back when his vehicle was blown up by an improvised explosive device, and Private Jaco Van Gass's left arm was amputated after the 24-year-old, from South Africa, was hit by an RPG. He also suffered significant tissue loss to his left leg.

Two charity co-founders, Ed Parker and Simon Daglish, complete the team headed by expedition leader Inge Solheim.


From Belfast Telegraph