London

Duke of York abseils down London's Shard skyscraper

  • 3 September 2012
  • From the section London

The Duke of York has abseiled down the Shard skyscraper in London for charity.

Prince Andrew began his descent from the 87th floor and finished about hour later on level 20.

The 52-year-old royal is one of about 40 people to lower themselves down Europe's tallest building, which is 310m (1,016ft) tall.

The money raised will go to educational charity The Outward Bound Trust, of which the prince is chairman, and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

Others that abseiled included Ffion Hague, the wife of Foreign Secretary William Hague, and leading businessmen and women.

After his abseil, the duke said: "It was nerve-racking. I think we were in the clouds when we started.

"And I was stepping over the edge, somebody said, 'by the way, there is quite a lot of condensation and the windows are slippery so you may just slide'.

Prince Andrew abseiling down the Shard
Prince Andrew said the Queen was "entirely happy" about his abseil

"And he was right - I just slid for the first, whatever it was, 10 or 15 floors."

When asked what the Queen thought about his descent, the duke said once she understood why he was doing it and what the risks were, she was "entirely happy".

He added: "But this not about me. It is about the Outward Bound Trust.

"This is what we want to do for young people. We want to change people's lives."

Mrs Hague said the abseil was "scary, exhilarating and truly terrifying".

"I am very glad it is over and I wouldn't necessarily want to do it again but, my goodness, I am glad I have done it.

"I was trying very hard to focus on remembering the view because very few people in London will have seen London from that angle, from this fantastic building."

The Shard is the 59th tallest building in the world and its viewing galleries will be open to the public in February next year.

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