Duke praises local marines

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THE DUKE of York says it was Arbroath-based marines who helped him to believe he could abseil down Europe’s tallest building.

On Monday, Prince Andrew scaled down new London skyscraper, the Shard which stands at 309 metres tall in aid of charity.

The duke began his challenge on the 87th floor of the building and completed it an hour and a half later when he finished on level 20.

And after the stunt, Prince Andrew revealed that he had been to Condor, home of 45 Commando, during the summer months to prepare for his abseil.

He said that the most difficult part of the challenge was stepping out over the edge of the building.

But due to the training he had carried out earlier with the Royal Marines in Arbroath he had the confidence to complete the task.

Both 45 Commando and the Duke share a bond as both served in the Falklands War as the Prince was a helicopter pilot with the Royal Navy during the 1982 conflict.

And one of the charities set to benefit from his charity abseil is the Royal Marines Charitable Trust as well as the educational charity the Outward Bound Trust.

The Prince was among 40 other people who completed the abseil and it is thought he raised £300,000 for the charities, with his daughter, Princess Eugenie, donating £500.

The Shard was still being constructed when the Duke first came up with the idea of the abseil and after Monday no more abseiling will be allowed down the building.

This means he will remain the first and only royal to have abseiled down Europe’s tallest building.