Is Prince Harry going to the North Pole?

Britain's Prince Harry hopes to go to the North Pole this springBritish Prince Harry has always had a bit of an adventurous spirit. The young man has served his country in Afghanistan and is currently training to become an Apache helicopter pilot. But if the 26-year old has his way, he may be off on an adventure of entirely different kind, as he is currently training to go to the North Pole on foot with a group of disabled vets.

The expedition is called Walking with the Wounded, and features four soldiers who were injured in the line of duty for their country. They’ll be joined by two other army officers and a polar guide, who will be tasked with getting the entire team safely to 90º North. According to AOL News, Harry is Patron for the expedition and is keen to join the trek himself, provided he is granted a special leave from his military duties.

The plan is to get underway in late March, setting off from a remote point in Siberia. From there, the team will simply head north until they reach the top of the world. But this is a trek that is fraught with peril as North Polar explorers must deal with extreme cold, inclement weather, miles of desolate terrain, and ice that is continually breaking apart do to climate change. Not to mention the chance encounter with a hungry polar bear.

The expedition is expected to take about a month to complete, with the team hoping to arrive by April 23rd. That’s cutting it mighty close for Harry however, who will be expected at his brother William’s wedding, which is scheduled to take place on April 29th.

It’ll be a few weeks before the prince knows if he’ll be allowed to go on this journey or not, but I for one hope he gets the chance. This sounds like an expedition for a good cause and a true adventure of a lifetime.

[Photo credit: Walking with the Wounded]

Make like Will and Kate: Alternate suggestions for romantic English wedding venues

English wedding venueOkay, okay – so your dreams of getting marred a la Prince William and Kate Middleton are probably never going to come true – after all, Westminster Abbey is a bit out of reach for the average Joe and Jane. But you can, if you wish, steal their date (April 29, 2011), her ring (find copies here) and even experience your own romantic English wedding in one of several “royalty-approved” locations.

Bride On Board
A serving RAF officer, Prince William could have married immersed in military heritage. Handily located in the heart of London, HMS Belfast can accommodate 350 guests with plenty of space on the quarterdeck for speeches and dancing and splendid views of Tower Bridge and the London skyline.

A Greener Groom
A choice certain to please the father of the groom, His Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, the Eden Project offers eco-friendly weddings with food sourced from local suppliers. Happy couples can choose from a ceremony among the lush foliage at the very top of the Rainforest Biome or in the gallery overlooking the grounds; in the evening the Mediterranean Biome can be lit with low lights that create the illusion of thousands of stars across the biome canopy.
Brighton Bling
Nothing makes the monarchy look better than being reminded of the follies of their predecessor – and there are few grander follies than the Brighton Pavilion, built for the extravagant George IV. Weddings take place in the Red Drawing Room, while photos can be taken outside in the beautiful Regency gardens.

Back to Basics
A Royal Couple getting married in a pub? Unlikely we know (although it was good enough for Kate Winslet) but for those choosing to keep it simple, The Fleece Inn – a 15th century inn in the Cotswolds is the perfect choice. The ceremony takes place in a cosy 16th century thatched barn, with the centuries-old joys of a traditional English pub for the reception.

A Holy Enjoyable Day
The joy of seeing the paparazzi wading around as the tide comes in would no doubt have added to the general air of bliss if the royal wedding were to take place at Holy Island in Northumberland. The fairytale castle of Lindisfarne would make a dream backdrop for any ceremony, steeped in history and once owned by Sir Edward Lutyens.

A Castle of Course
For sheer grandeur, a wedding located at Highclere Castle in Kent offers the options of either a marquee in the grounds, or a ceremony inside the house – with a spectacularly dramatic staircase for the bride to sweep down.

In Vino Veritas
A celebratory glass or two is integral to a successful wedding – so what better place to hold the ceremony than at a vineyard? Denbies Vineyard, in the heart of the beautiful Surrey hills, can arrange weddings surrounded by 265 acres of vines, with pre-reception drinks held in the atmospheric candlelit cellars.

A Coastal Celebration
Steeped in royal history, Pendennis Castle was built in the 1540’s on the orders of Henry VIII, and has protected the Cornish coast from invasion for five centuries. The circular fort is a spectacular wedding location, set high on a headland with panoramic views across the sea and several different room options, holding up to 160 people.

A Light Touch
Dungeness? No we’re not crazy. Climbing a spiral staircase to a circular room with panoramic views out to sea is surely romantic enough for even the royal couple. Dungeness Lighthouse in Kent is an unusual venue for a truly unique wedding, with space for thirty people at bridge level and just ten in the Gallery.

Green-Fingered Groom
What could be more perfect for an English wedding than a flower-filled garden – and gardens don’t come much more idyllic than the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship Wisley in Surrey. Wedding guests can enjoy a private tour of the garden and an evening reception in the Conservatory.

What do you think about these English wedding location suggestions? Do you have another favorite? Leave it in the comments, below.

[Image via Flickr user Peter Rivera]