Sun, Jul 15, 2012 - Page 6 News List

Prince Andrew to abseil the Shard to raise charity funds

AFP, LONDON

Britain’s Prince Andrew will attempt to abseil down the Shard in London, Europe’s tallest skyscraper, in an effort to raise money for two charities, the groups announced on Friday.

The Duke of York, fourth in line to the throne, will make the attempt on Sept. 3, in support of the Outward Bound Trust educational charity and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, which benefits serving and retired troops.

It is hoped that more than £1 million (US$1.5 million) will be raised.

“I am delighted to be leading the descent of the Shard,” said Andrew, Outward Bound’s chairman of trustees.

“I am also very proud ... of the work the trust undertakes with young people to give them challenge through adventure,” he said.

Aged 52, the prince is a Royal Navy commander who served in the 1982 Falklands War.

He officially launched the building on Thursday last week, along with Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani.

The 310m, £450 million tower on the south bank of the River Thames was 95 percent funded by Qatar.

Andrew will abseil 250m from the 87th to the 20th floor. About 40 people will join in the abseil, with half going to the 20th floor and the rest descending to the 78th.

Ffion Hague, the wife of British Foreign Secretary William Hague, is among those involved.

Iain Peter, a mountain guide in charge of the abseil, said the fact that the outside of the building is glass represented a tougher challenge than with a mountain.

“It is going to be terrifying,” the Times newspaper quoted him as saying.

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