Prince Andrew Abseils Down Europe’s Tallest Building
The Duke of York abseiled down the Shard – Europe’s tallest building – to raise money for charity. The trip down the slippery glass-sheathed 1,016ft started at down and took each volunteer at least 30 minutes to complete.
Prince Andrew was one of 40 volunteers, including Ffion Hague, wife of the foreign secretary, to undertake the challenge hoping to funds for the Outward Bound Trust and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust. As it turned out, Prince Andrew’s efforts were not in vain: he raised around £300,000, while the entire team raised more than £1million collectively in donations and online sponsorship.
Once the challenge was behind him (and he was standing on firm ground), the reporters present asked whether he enjoyed the experience. The Prince answered that he did, adding that there had been a moment of trepidation: “I was scared at the top… You have a moment to realise what you are doing and where you are going to go. The difficult bit was actually stepping out over the edge. It’s a long way down. But it’s a fantastic view!”
The former Royal Navy helicopter pilot had been coached by Royal Marine Commandos to make sure he was physically and mentally prepared for the descent. While he did admirable, the 52-year-old is unlikely to ever repeat the experience, having declared after abseiling down the Shard: “I’m never doing it again.”
The abseil was completed in three stages – a 32-metre descent, followed by a changeover of rope for the next 175 metres, and a second rope change for the final 32 metres. It could not be completed in one single abseil because a 300-metre rope was too heavy to carry. Each abseiler had two ropes, one to grip and another secured to their safety harness.Filed under British Royals
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