Andrew in Shard abseil for charity
The Duke of York is to abseil from the summit of London's Shard, the tallest building in Europe, to raise funds for good causes.
Andrew will descend more than three-quarters of the 1,016ft skyscraper, from the 87th floor down to the 20th on September 3.
His 820ft daredevil stunt is in aid of the Outward Bound Trust and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.
His daughter, Princess Eugenie, has already contributed £500 to his fundraising efforts, the first person to do so, and left a message of support on a donation website: "Well done papa! I'm so proud of you! Xx"
Writing on the event's official website, Andrew, who is the Outward Bound Trust's chairman of trustees, said: "I am delighted to be leading the descent of the Shard. I am also very proud... of the work the trust undertakes with young people to give them challenge through adventure." The former Royal Navy helicopter pilot, who served in the Falklands War, added that the Royal Marines were also close to his heart.
Andrew helped to officially launch the Shard last week, telling those gathered at an inauguration ceremony that the development would give the Southwark area of the capital a "huge new boost".
He will take part in the longer of two abseils being planned on the fundraising day with a shorter distance between the summit and 78th floor also organised. In total 40 fundraisers will take part in the event, including Ffion Hague, wife of Foreign Secretary William Hague, who is the Outward Bound Trust's deputy chairman of trustees.
Royal Marines will provide training and support on the day for the duke and the other fundraisers for what is thought to be one of the longest abseils ever undertaken by civilians. Shard owners London Bridge Quarter, a development by the state of Qatar and Sellar Property Group, said a number of local youngsters would also take part in the fundraising challenge.
The Outward Bound Trust said it hoped its abseilers would raise £1 million, with £250,000 earmarked for a major redevelopment of its founding centre in Aberdovey, North Wales. A further £100,000 has been allocated to support young people in Southwark to enable more than 700 from the borough to attend an Outward Bound course.
Those abseiling for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund are fundraising for the ongoing Commando Spirit appeal, which aims to raise £1 million for the fund by 2014. The organisation's chief executive Mark Noble said: "The funds generated by this once-in-a-lifetime event will go a long way towards assisting our efforts in supporting the Royal Marines Corps family."