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His Royal Highness The Duke of York has led 42 abseilers down the tallest building in western Europe, The Shard in London, to raise money for the Outward Bound Trust and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.
Each descent was completed in three stages - a 32-metre abseil, followed by a changeover of rope for the next 175 metres, and a second rope change for the final 32 metres - because a 300-metre length of rope required to make the descent in a single abseil would be too heavy to carry.
Donations are now running in excess of £300,000 in support of the Duke, who is the Outward Bound Trust’s Chairman of Trustees.
The descent also raised money for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, and, as a former Royal Navy helicopter pilot who served in the Falklands conflict, he said the Marines were especially close to his heart.
Describing his descent, the Duke said:
The difficult bit was actually stepping out over the edge so the training I had done over the summer with the Royal Marines in Arbroath gave me the confidence to step out over the edge without too much trepidation.
Prince Andrew said he came up with the idea of abseiling down The Shard as a fundraising opportunity last year, when the skyscraper was under construction.
The Duke of York said:
I am delighted to be leading the Descent of The Shard. I am also very proud, as the Chairman of the Outward Bound Trust, of the work the Trust undertakes with young people to give them challenge through adventure.
The Royal Marines are also close to my heart as a part of the Royal Navy and, whilst the work they do in support of our nation is beyond any question, I am delighted to be joining with the Royal Marines and their Charitable Trust Fund to be able to raise not only awareness for the two charitable organisations we are descending The Shard for, but also in raising the necessary money and support for both organisations to be able to continue our vital work.
All the descents were overseen by the Royal Marines and climbers from the Outward Bound Trust.
Published: 5 September 2012
From: Ministry of Defence