UK & World News

  • 23 December 2013, 20:34

Harry Hailed As Trek Soldiers Return Home

Prince Harry has been praised by his trekking team-mates as they received a heroes' welcome after successfully walking to the South Pole.

The injured service personnel who formed the Walking With The Wounded charity expedition arrived at Heathrowto spend Christmas at home.

While some fought back tears as they were reunited with loved ones at the airport, tributes were paid to their royal patron, who returned to Britain separately.

Speaking about the prince,British team member Guy Disney told Sky News: "He's just a really good honest bloke and brings a lot to the party.

"Harry brought a hell of a lot to the team, he carried extra weight for some of the other guys.

"He was always up for a laugh and you need that, you need to keep the banter going."

Family and friends cheered and clapped as the team walked into the arrivals hall at Heathrow's Terminal 3 after a flight from Cape Town in South Africa.

The competitive element of the South Pole Allied Challenge was called off just a few days into the race after some members of the three teams began to suffer from altitude sickness.

With the British, US and Commonwealth teams instead joining forces, they completed the 210 mile course arriving at the South Pole in just 13 days.

"Arriving back here is quite surreal after the peace and quiet out in the South Pole where you're in your own mind for nine to 10 hours a day skiing, to this kind of welcome", explained Ibrar Ali.

"The way we look at it, we were just a group of guys that went off to the South Pole to raise some money for some other guys who've been injured on operations."

A total of 12 wounded servicemen and women who have overcome life-changing injuries took part in the challenge.

Sky News understands Prince Harry chose not to join the British team's welcome home in order that the focus should be on others rather than himself.

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