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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Svalbard suddenly in royal spotlight

Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard was suddenly getting a lot of extra attention this week, when Prince Harry of Wales landed at Longyearbyen to take part in a polar expedition comprised of war veterans.

Called “Walking with the Wounded,” the expedition is under the Norwegian leadership of Inge Solheim but made up of British soldiers who were wounded in Afghanistan, where the young prince also has served.

His involvement prompted a lot of media coverage for the expedition, which will also be the subject of a documentary on the BBC. Its goal is to attract donations for war veterans wounded in action. Many of those taking part in the expedition have lost legs and arms.

News bureau NTB reported that Prince Harry will take part in the first five days of the 320-kilometer-long trek to the North Pole, reportedly helping with preparations and ready to sleep out on the ice and pull a 1oo-kilo (220-pound) sled. Solheim, who has made several expeditions to the North Pole, told NTB the war veterans are well-trained after preparing for the past 18 months under tough conditions, also in Norway.

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