British Queen celebrates


Prince Harry plans to join a charity expedition with injured servicemen to the North Pole next year. He said yesterday that he hopes to complete part of the 300-mile Arctic trek alongside amputees who lost limbs in the line of duty.

The 25-year-old prince had already been named as a patron of the event, which aims to raise £1million for the charity Walking With The Wounded.

But at a launch in London he announced that he wants to go further with his support. 'You will be glad to know that if my military commitments allow me I would love to join the team,' he said. 
Although Harry is training to become an Army Air Corps helicopter pilot and plans to return to Afghanistan in the next two years, he is hopeful of being given permission to join the month-long expedition for five days next April.

Funds raised will help rehabilitate injured service personnel back into employment.

During the trek, the eight-strong team will take the Siberian approach to the North Pole across the frozen Arctic Ocean.

Accompanied by expert guides, they will face temperatures as low as minus
50C, fields of floating ice rubble and the threat of aggressive polar bears.

Each participant will have to complete the trek on skis while pulling more than 240lb of equipment on sleds. It is thought that no amputee has ever made it to the Pole unassisted.

Harry, who tested his strength by dragging a sled, said: 'This project exemplifies the tenacity and courage of those who serve our country. They are a huge example to us all.'

Rob Copsey, 39, who had his right leg amputated below the knee after stepping on an anti-personnel mine during a tour of duty in Rwanda in 1994, said: 'Harry's involvement is a real boost.

The father of two from Kent, who was a member of the Royal Engineers 9th Parachute Squadron and now works as a customs officer, added: 'It won't be easy but we are already training hard.'

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