Harry 'skilled at latrine building'

The Oxford Times: Prince Harry speaks at the Walking With The Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge welcome home press conference Prince Harry speaks at the Walking With The Wounded South Pole Allied Challenge welcome home press conference

Prince Harry has been reunited with his fellow South Pole adventurers who revealed that he has a special skill essential for expeditions - latrine building.

At a welcome home press conference, Harry met up with some of the men and women with whom he trekked across the frozen wastes of Antarctica to reach the most southern point of the globe.

Among those on the Walking With The Wounded South Pole 2013 expedition were 12 injured servicemen and women from the UK, US and the Commonwealth - and Harry praised their efforts as an "unbelievable achievement".

Actor Dominic West took part in the challenge and joined the group that greeted the Prince when he arrived at a central London hotel.

Harry had shaved off his ginger beard he grew during the challenge, but the British star was still sporting his dark beard.

West said: "He was very much part of the team, he seemed to specialise in building latrines, he built this incredible castellated structure with blocks to keep out the wind and it even had a loo roll holder."

Describing the experience of using the toilet built by a prince, the actor said: "Sitting their, looking at the beautiful view thinking 'this is a royal flush, in every way'."

Surrounded by his fellow trekkers, Harry spoke about the Walking With The Wounded charity that organised the challenge to the South Pole.

He said: "Inspiring others is one of the corner stones of this charity, to demonstrate to those who have experienced life-changing injuries that everything is possible.

"I hope this truly unbelievable achievement by everyone behind me, and back in America, Canada and Australia... will remind everybody that they can achieve anything that they want to.

"Our wounded, injured and sick do not want pity, they simply want to be treated the same way they were before they were injured - with respect and admiration."

The adventurers faced such extreme weather conditions during their 200-mile (322km) odyssey that organisers had to call off the competitive element of the trek.

But working as one unit, the UK team and squads from the US and Commonwealth made it to their Antarctic goal together on Friday December 13.

Harry could not resist joking about the British contingent reaching the South Pole first: "Team UK did win - we did - those are the facts, we had a chat and decided to give the trophy back and share it among everybody else - to the Australian contingent if they're watching, sorry."

Harry was the official patron of the gruelling trek and the challenge was filmed for a documentary that will be screened in the spring.

Fellow adventurer Duncan Slater, 34, a former sergeant who served with the RAF Regiment, became the first double amputee to reach the South Pole during the trip.

He lost both his legs after the vehicle he was travelling in was hit by an improvised explosive device in the Babaji area of Afghanistan in July 2009.

The Team UK member, originally from Muir of Ord, near Inverness, described how he used his prosthetic legs to help the group celebrate.

He said: "They took some champagne out to the pole and I used my legs as a primitive ice bucket and wedged the bottle in there and passed it around - I don't know how we did it but it went down quite well."

Mr Slater described how Harry was always at the centre of light hearted activities like improvising a game of cricket or making a latrine look like a castle. "There was always something, and he usually instigated it."

Ibrar Ali, 36, whose right arm was amputated after he was caught up in a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan in 2007, said pushing himself to the limit was a positive experience.

The former captain, who served in the Yorkshire Regiment, said: "This experience gives you something to draw strength from - going to your mental and physical limits and beyond, that gives you something in the bank."

Mr Ali, who lives in Selby, North Yorkshire, added: "There were certainly moments when you were skiing, after the race had been suspended, you could appreciate the beauty of where you were.

"It's an absolutely beautiful place, there's an ocean of white and you can just see for endless miles - it's amazing."

He added that seeing a research station close to the pole brought home that he had completed the challenge. He said: "The highlight for me was the night before we reached the South Pole, we could see where we were going and in my mind I knew there was no way I wasn't going to make

it."

Speaking about Harry he said: "He was a great member of the team, he mucked in when he needed to and made the teas and coffees, he was there in his own right."

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