Prince Harry has reached the South Pole after a three-week charity trek with injured military veterans from Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.
The Prince and 12 soldiers reached the globe's most southerly point on Friday following a 320 kilometre journey across the frozen wastes of Antarctica, organisers said.
The expedition was initially conceived as a race but it was abandoned due to concerns about the safety of the participants, some of whom lost limbs fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
However, the teams decided to continue their trek, dragging 70-kilogram sleds through the bitter cold and high winds.
…the wind dropped down ….
Prince Harry, 29, who serves as an army helicopter pilot, joked earlier this week about the expected arrival date of Friday 13, which he said was "unlucky for some, lucky for us", according to a report by Agence France Presse.
"The wind has dropped down, which is nice. I think everyone is feeling a bit tired but slowly getting into the rhythm," he said.
"Only just got into the rhythm now and it has almost finished."
The veterans have endured temperatures as low as minus 35 degrees Celsius and wind speeds of around 80 kilometres per hour.
[Photo: Prince Harry (R) during ski training in Novo, Antarctica ahead of the charity trek. AFP: Robert Leveritt: WWTW ]
The trek has been organised by Walking With The Wounded, a charity which raises funds to retrain injured troops and help them find new careers outside the military.
Prince Harry joined the charity for part of a trek to the North Pole in 2011, but had to come home early to be best man at his brother Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton.
While Queen Elizabeth II's grandson is the first royal to reach the South Pole, Britain's monarchy has a number of links to the frozen continent.The queen's husband Prince Philip crossed the Antarctic circle in 1957 on board the now-retired royal yacht Britannia while visiting a memorial cross to polar explorer Ernest Shackleton on the remote Atlantic island of South Georgia.
Prince Harry's aunt Princess Anne has twice visited Antarctica, most recently in 2007.
The queen herself had a huge chunk of Antarctica named after her in a gift from the British government to mark her diamond jubilee in 2012.
Queen Elizabeth Land is around 437,000 square kilometres in size, making up just under a third of British Antarctic Territory.