Chris Jackson/Getty
Phil Boucher
April 19, 2013 11:30 AM

Prince Harry announced Friday his intention to follow in the footsteps of British hero Captain Scott and conquer Antarctica.

The world’s favorite friendly royal will join three teams of wounded veterans as they race to the South Pole with the aid of the Walking With The Wounded charity, of which Harry is patron.

“The aim remains the same,” Harry, 28, told reporters at the launch of the South Pole Allied Challenge in London. “To enable our wounded servicemen and women to do what they do better than anyone else I know. To meet a challenge head on and inspire others to do the same.”

The event will start in December and see veterans from the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia ski across 208 miles of the coldest, most inhospitable terrain on the planet for up to 20 hours a day.

Each will wear specially modified survival equipment catering to a range of mental and physical disabilities suffered during combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Prince Harry is presented with a jacket by Inge Solheim
Chris Jackson/Getty

“We are not allowed to officially call it a race, but I think we all know what will happen,” Harry said. “These men and women have given their all in the cause of freedom. That they should once again step into the breach, this time facing down the extreme mental and physical challenges of trekking to the South Pole just underlines their remarkable qualities. Toughness of mind; an unquenchable spirit that refuses to say ‘I am beaten’.”

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Harry then couldn’t resist joking about the possible outcome of the race: “As a member of the British team, I will have a brew ready for you when you join us at the Pole!”

The South Pole Allied Challenge will leave for Cape Town in November and aims to see the veterans standing at the pole in time for Christmas. The U.S. team is being organized by the USO and Soldiers To Summits.

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