Prince Harry was reunited with his South Pole trek teammates on Tuesday morning, and gave an inspirational speech where he called for more support for injured servicemen and women.
Addressing the press, Harry, 29, took to the stage proudly sporting his Walking with the Wounded fleece. The British royal, who formed part of Team UK, completed the gruelling 208-mile race last December in aid of the charity.
Harry started his speech by joking that his team — Team Glenfiddich — had won the trek, much to the amusement of the audience. The spirited royal then went on to praise the bravery and strength of the injured participants.
“On a serious note, inspiring others is one of the cornerstones of this charity,” said Harry. “It demonstrates to those that have experienced life-changing injuries that everything is still possible.
“Our wounded, injured and sick do not want pity. They just simply want to be treated in the same way they were before they were injured with respect and admiration.
“For some, the journey may be more of a challenge and it falls to all of us to help them where we can, be that in training, employment, sport or even adventure. So if anybody out there has the ability or the resources to give these guys and girls a stepping stone back into employment, then please do. You certainly won’t regret it.”
Harry added that the conditions they faced while walking the challenge were “horrendous” and “a lot tougher” than they expected. The team members, who endured temperatures as low as -45C, with some being hit by altitude sickness, were delayed by the strong winds and storms.
“We’re here, we made it, it’s Friday 13th,” Harry said in a video, when the teams arrived at the South Pole at 12:00 GMT.
“Everyone is so happy, we’ve all touched the ball, we’ve all had photos, a few hugs and a few tears. All in all, mission success basically.”
Recent reports have said that the fourth-in-line to the throne has quit his job as an Army Air Corp helicopter pilot and will take up an office role. Harry plans to continue supporting injured servicemen by bringing their version of the Olympics, known as the Warrior Games, to London.
It is understood that Harry’s surprise move has the blessing of the Queen and his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh, a former Royal navy officer.