Prince Harry meets elite troops in Norway
The Duke of Sussex is spending this Valentine's Day without Meghan, although he will have 1000 elite marines to keep him company. Prince Harry is visiting northern Norway and official royal duty to take part in the Royal Marines' annual winter exercise.
Prince Harry (34) has left Meghan (37) behind this Valentine's Day, flying to Air Station Bardufoss, in Norway to take part in Exercise Clockwork, a multinational exercise in which elite forces are taught how to survive and fight in extreme cold. And when we say extreme cold, we mean it. Bardufoss is located 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle and the Commando Helicopter Force are not ones to shy away from a bit of bad weather, operating at temperatures up to minus 30C.
As Captain General of the Royal Marines, a role that Harry took over from his grandfather Prince Philip (97) in 2017, former army captain Harry will take part in the annual exercise, which will take place for the 50th time this year. More than 16 000 Royal Marines and Royal Navy sailors and airmen have soldiered (pun intended) through the artic cold during Exercise Clockwork since 1969.
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The Duke of Sussex, Captain General @RoyalMarines, visited Exercise Clockwork to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the operation in Bardufoss, Norway. The Duke met specialist aircrew and engineers, finding out more about their experiences of flying with the Royal Marines in the Arctic Circle – before cutting a special cake to mark the operation's 50th anniversary, and thanked both Brits and Norwegians for their collaborative work over the past 50 years. Clockwork is the traditional name of the Royal Marines' annual winter exercise, based in one of the world's most demanding environments 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle, which has trained over 16,000 Royal Marines and Royal Navy sailors and airmen since 1969. #RoyalMarines #ExerciseClockwork Kensington Palace
Prince Harry arrived at the Air Station Bardufoss on Thursday to meet the personnel living and training there and meet the Commando Helicopter Force. Harry was also shown around an aviation hangar housing specialist Royal Marines aircraft and was introduced to the base's aircrew and engineers. The hangar also houses Apache helicopters, which Harry flew when on tour in Afghanistan in 2012.
A Shrine to Prince Harry in a Snow Shelter in Norway
The Duke of Sussex was shown around Quinzhee shelter, a type of snow shelter made by creating a large pile of snow, which is then hollowed out in the middle.
The shelter had been hollowed out just a few days before Prince Harry's visit by Lance Corporal Lee Lovak and air engineering technician Kevin Burns, who had decked it out especially for his visit, with photos of Harry and Meghan on their wedding day, candles and a chair for VIP guest Harry. After looking around, Harry couldn't help but laugh, jokingly saying, "You weirdos", before praising the shelter and thanking them for showing him around it.
And, of course, no 50th anniversary would be complete without cake! Prince Harry also got to cut a very special Exercise Clockwork cake featuring iced helicopters to mark the special day.