After taking part in the first stage of an expedition to the North Pole last year, Prince Harry is reportedly keen to help walk in the opposite direction.
The 26-year-old is a patron of Walking with the Wounded, an UK charity that organizes expeditions to fundraise for and assist wounded veterans. The group is planning a 2013 trek to the South Pole that would involve around a dozen injured servicemen racing in teams.
“He would love to do it — he’s told us so,” co-founder Edward Parker told Mandrake. “He’s a 26-year-old bloke who loves adventures, and the core of what he is is a soldier. He considers himself to be one of them, and they consider him to be one of them, too.”
“Last year, I struggled to keep up with the four British soldiers whom I joined for part of their expedition to walk to the North Pole," he said. "Each of these men had recently been gravely wounded on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Theirs was the fastest team to reach the Pole that season."
At this very moment, another team of our wounded are returning from Mount Everest. Sadly, I have to be the first to say they have been frustrated from reaching the summit by the unusually warm weather, which brings particularly dangerous conditions. However, the mere fact that they are up there on that fearsome peak, I find totally amazing."
"Ladies and gentlemen, these people – ours and yours – are extraordinary.”
Much like the other expeditions, Parker says Harry's availability for the South Pole expedition will be largely dependent on his military responsibilities and other commitments. “If he is able to show his support for the wounded, then he will undoubtedly do so," he said. "It’s very close to his heart.”
According to one expedition site, less people have man hauled to the South Pole (58 people) than have stood on the summit of Mt Everest (4600).
To learn more about Walking with the Wounded, please visit the official site here.