The Duke of Sussex and father of one to be is spending his first Valentine’s Day as a married man in one of the planet’s harshest climates, meeting British armed forces taking part in winter survival training inside the Arctic Circle.
Harry will today experience the icy wilds of northern Norway when he meets British servicemen undergoing the gruelling Exercise Clockwork during a tour of their base on Thursday.
Duchess of Sussex and expectant mother confessed she’s is a ‘sucker for Valentine’s Day is believed to be at home in Kensington Palace, Meghan have previously reveals she wakes up every February 14 ‘waiting with bated breath to be dipped into a kiss’.
The duke, who is due to become a father for the first time in late April or early May, was met with temperatures just over freezing point for his visit to the Bardufoss air station, 200 miles (322km) within the Arctic Circle.
Harry’s trip marks the 50th anniversary of Commando Helicopter Force and Joint Helicopter Command deploying to the remote base.
There, military personnel are taught how to survive, operate and fight in the sub-zero conditions, as well as gaining experience of operating aircraft in severe cold weather and mountainous environments.
The multinational exercise, hosted by the Norwegian Armed Forces, comprises environmental flying qualifications, cold weather survival, and snow and ice driving courses.
Harry, in his role as Captain General Royal Marines, will meet some of the 1,000 military personnel living and training at the base.
The Duke will also see field tents, snow vehicles and a Quincey Shelter, a makeshift shelter built of snow in which the elite forces are able to camp.
Harry was appointed Captain General Royal Marines in December 2017, taking over the role from his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh, who held the appointment for 64 years.
The duke already has experience of colder climates, facing temperatures as low as -35C on charity expeditions.
Harry took part in treks to the North Pole in 2011 and South Pole in 2013 with Walking With The Wounded.
Lieutenant Colonel David West, officer commanding Exercise Clockwork, said: ‘We are celebrating 50 years of Exercise Clockwork today and are honoured to be able to welcome the Captain General of the Royal Marines to Bardufoss to mark the occasion.’
He added: ‘Harry is used to rigours of harsh climates and so will fully understand the dangers of trying to live and operate in such an extreme environment.
‘Clockwork continues to deliver vital training for our people. It provides essential experience in flying and surviving in the extreme cold hundreds of miles inside the Arctic Circle.
‘For 50 years Commando Helicopter Force and its predecessors have operated in this region and the skills learnt here are more relevant than ever.’
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