Prince Harry bets amputee Invictus Games GT driver £100 that he can beat him in a fastest lap challenge
- Prince Harry has bet on with amputee Invictus games driver and gold medallist
- Bet Paul Vice MC £100 that he would beat him in a fastest lap challenge
- Pair hugged as Prince visited Royal Marines’ main training base in Lympstone
- In 2011, Prince Harry provided air support to Corporal Vice in Afghanistan
Prince Harry has bet an amputee Invictus Games GT driver £100 that he can beat him in a fastest lap challenge.
The prince suggested the wager with former commando Paul Vice MC as he visited the Royal Marines’ main training base in Lympstone, Devon, for the first time as the outfit’s Captain General last week.
In 2011, Prince Harry – then an Apache helicopter pilot – provided air support to Corporal Vice and his section during Paul’s fourth tour of Afghanistan.
The prince suggested the wager with former commando Paul Vice MC (both pictured) as he visited the Royal Marines’ main training base in Lympstone, Devon, last week
The pair shook hands and hugged, before Paul gave him a tour of the race car that ended with the Prince sat in the driver’s seat. While revving the engine, Prince Harry made a £100 bet, for charity, with Paul that he could do a quicker lap than him in the car.
After joking about doing doughnuts on the parade square, Paul accepted the Prince’s challenge and with both men shaking on it, with a promise to make it happen.
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Paul said that he was willing to act as the ‘Official Royal Racing Instructor’ to get the Prince to a decent standard – something Harry said he would take him up on.
In 2011 while on foot patrol in Helmand Province, Corporal Vice stepped on a command wire Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which detonated underneath his Section.
The pair shook hands and hugged, before Paul gave him a tour of the race car that ended with the Prince sat in the driver’s seat. While revving the engine, Prince Harry made a £100 bet, for charity, with Paul that he could do a quicker lap than him in the car
He suffered a traumatic brain injury resulting in paralysis of his right arm, and more than 400 pieces of shrapnel were removed from his body by surgeons. He was, as a subsequent documentary called him, ‘The Commando Who Refused To Die’.
He was one of six casualties from the explosion which, as he describes, ‘took from me the one thing I felt I was born to do – be a soldier’. In 2014, he competed in the first Invictus Games, winning a gold medal in cycling. After the Games he had to have his left leg amputated below the knee. He was medically discharged in August 2015.
His seven-medal haul at the 2016 Invictus Games meant he returned home as the competition’s most successful male athlete.
Paul said: ‘As ever, it was a pleasure to meet The Duke, who was incredibly generous with his time. I showed him around our car and he loved sitting in the racing seat – he was asking lots of questions about the controls and what the car is like to drive.
‘That’s when he said that he reckoned he could drive it quicker than me on a lap of the track – so I thought, ‘You’re on!’ and then The Duke suggested we wager £100 on it for charity.
‘Invictus Games Racing compete in the British GT Championship and the last race of the season is this weekend at Donnington, so I’m going to get The Duke trained up after that and then we’ll settle the debate!’
In 2011 while on foot patrol in Helmand Province, Corporal Vice (right) stepped on a command wire Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which detonated underneath his Section
An onlooker said: ‘Prince Harry was in great form – the Invictus Games Racing team were delighted to see him and he put everyone at ease. He was really interested in the race cars and couldn’t wait to sit inside one and rev the engine, which startled a couple of his assistants who were standing near to the exhaust!
‘He spent around 45 minutes meeting not only the racing drivers – who are all injured ex-armed service personnel – but also their families and the team’s mechanics, asking everyone what their roles where and making them feel special.
‘There was a lot of excitement about Harry’s bet with Paul, so it will be fascinating to see who ends up being quickest on the track. Paul just needs to keep in mind that letting Harry win might help his chances of a knighthood!’
Prince Harry arrived at last week’s event in a Royal Navy Wildcat Maritime Attack Helicopter drawn from the Commando Helicopter Force, who provide crucial aerial support to the Royal Marines.
The former Apache helicopter commander jumped from the Wildcat, flown by 847 Naval Air Squadron to meet the marines.
Speaking to one group who are a fortnight into 32 weeks of training to earn the coveted green beret, the duke quipped: ‘You’re going to need each other, that’s for sure.’
Harry assumed the role in December last year, succeeding his grandfather The Duke of Edinburgh who was Captain General for some 64 years.
Harry explored the barracks and met new recruits undergoing training in order to learn more about the process of becoming a Royal Marine, before meeting the Invictus Games Racing Team who will be using Lympstone on the day for a team bonding exercise.
He received a ceremonial welcome before meeting recruits training in the gym and commando assault course.
Paul said that he was willing to act as the ‘Official Royal Racing Instructor’ to get the Prince to a decent standard – something Harry said he would take him up on
The Duke also learnt about the support services on offer to Royal Marines, such as the onsite rehabilitation centre, the Royal Marines charity and a regular family group called ‘Who Let The Dads Out’ at which Marines families take time to chat, play and have a cup of tea once a week.
The Commando Training Centre at Lympstone selects and trains all Royal Marines Officers, recruits and reserves.
On average, 1,300 recruits, 2,000 potential recruits and 400 potential officers attend training courses and acquaint courses there every year.
The Royal Marines, which can trace its origin back to 1664, is the UK’s elite amphibious fighting force. Each recruit has to complete the Commando course, including the ‘rope regain’ assault course.
The training ground in Lympstone trains all Officers, recruits and reserves, as well as providing an onsite rehabilitation centre.
It is also the home of the Royal Marines charity a number of welfare groups.
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