The royal confirmed at press conference at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London on Friday that he will join a team of wounded British servicemen and women, on the 208-mile (335km) Walking With The Wounded Allied Challenge later this year.
The challenge will see him take on teams from the US and the Commonwealth.
Prince Harry told members of the press that the aim of the event was to “meet a challenge head-on and overcome it and inspire others to do the same.”
Harry, who recently returned from Afghanistan joked with journalists: “As a member of the British team, I will have a brew on ready for you when you join us at the Pole.”
Prince Harry took part in a previous trek to the North Pole in 2011 but has to leave early to attend Prince William’s wedding.
Walking With The Wounded hosts sporting events for military veterans as part of re-training and re-educating serviceman and women.
“Ladies and gentlemen, these men and women have given their all in the cause of freedom, in our cause.
“That they should once again step into the breach – this time facing down the extreme physical and mental challenges of trekking to the South Pole – just underlines their remarkable qualities.
“So, what are these qualities? Courage, to be sure. Physical strength, endurance, a sense of comradeship, absolutely.” He continued.
“But there’s something else, something deeper than that. Something that continues to draw me back to this charity and these people time and again – and always will.
“It’s toughness of mind. An unquenchable spirit that simply refuses to say, ‘I am beaten’. In a way it’s something that can’t be defined. You’ve either got it or you haven’t.”
The young royal and the team will trek between nine and 13 miles each day in extreme weather conditions.
The four week expedition will take place in November and December and the third-in-line can expect to face extreme temperatures as low as -45C, along with savage 50mph winds.
On his return from Afghanistan earlier this year, Harry said he was keen to increase his royal role to support his grandmother the Queen.
photo credit: UK in Brazil via photopin cc
Why the obsession with racing to the South Pole? Recently it was Ranulph Fiennes in another excruciatingly masochistic quest. At the end of the day, what concrete, physical result does one have to show for all that energy expended – apart from a feeling of achievement and a possible nett profit for the charity of choice? Wouldn’t it be better to let the South Pole rest in peace and put one’s efforts into co-ordinating a project elsewhere with possible lasting tangible benefits?
I’d really much rather they went sailing with the Jubilee Sailing Trust – much more fun than freezing amongst the penguins.
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