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South Pole 2013 reception

13th November 2013

The Queen examines a jacket presented by a member of Team USA

The Queen examines a jacket presented by a member of Team USA

The Queen met a group of injured service personnel who are setting off on a race to the South Pole with her grandson Prince Harry.

Three teams of Walking With The Wounded trekkers - including His Royal Highness, who is the charity's Patron - will battle it out on the frozen land this winter.

They were introduced to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh by Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace today, and he took the opportunity to show his grandparents some of the kit they will be taking with them.

Actor Dominic West will line up alongside the Commonwealth team in the South Pole Allied Challenge 2013 against groups from the Britain and the United States.

He asked The Queen if she had been to Antarctica, to which she replied:  "Of course not! I can't think of any reason why I'd want to!"

West, who starred in the hit US TV show The Wire, revealed afterwards:  "I thought 'Neither can I'."

The Walking With The Wounded teams are making their final preparations for the 200-mile (322km) expedition before they set off on Sunday.

Prince Harry, 29, a captain in the British Army, will race with the UK team of injured soldiers.

The Prince, who took part in the Walking With The Wounded trek to the North Pole in 2011 for five days, broke a toe in a minor accident last month, but it is not thought to have badly affected his training.

Prince Harry showed The Queen and The uke the different types of jackets they will use, the boots they will wear and the sleds - known as pulks - they will pull behind them.

The Duke joked with members of the Commonwealth team from Australia and Canada: "You'll regret you went."

He said they will be in Antarctica "just long enough to get frost bite", before wishing them "good luck".

Cpl Heath Jamieson from the Australian Army suffered a gunshot wound through the neck. 

He said: "Since we've all been part of this, we keep pinching ourselves.

"It's amazing to meet The Queen and know we have her support."

Walking With The Wounded helps retrain injured military personnel for careers in civilian society.