Queen opens Balmoral to hundreds of people for Harry’s charity trek
The Queen has decided to grant special permission to allow hundreds of people to trek through the grounds of Balmoral for charity this summer – after some gentle persuasion from Prince Harry.
Since it became the Scottish home of Queen Victoria in 1852, visits to the estate by the public have been strictly controlled. But the Queen has decided to bend the rules for Harry. I can reveal that she has agreed to let hundreds of injured soldiers and athletes trek through the hills of her Aberdeenshire retreat for a Walking With The Wounded challenge on June 24 – Armed Forces Day.
I understand that Harry used all his charm on his grandmother after visiting her at Balmoral last September.
‘The Queen is thrilled with Harry’s recent charitable work and very proud of him,’ says a Palace source. ‘Although she and the Duke of Edinburgh consider Balmoral to be their private sanctuary, they will open it up to the public for Harry. They want to show him how pleased they are.’
The special event, billed as ‘by gracious permission of Her Majesty the Queen’, will see 100 teams each comprising four people compete over one of three mountainous routes in the Cairngorm National Park. Each team must raise at least £1,000 as part of their entry fee, with the money going towards helping vulnerable injured veterans regain their independence and reintegrate into society.
Walking With The Wounded is a cause close to Harry’s heart. The charity was set up in 2010 by his former Army officer pals Ed Parker and Simon Dalglish after Ed’s 26-year-old nephew lost both legs in an IED blast in Afghanistan in 2009. Harry is patron and has played an active role in treks to the North Pole and South Pole.
I am also told that talks took place last week over another proposed charity trek – this time across America later in the summer. The event would see teams venturing from the East Coast to the West Coast, and it is anticipated that Harry will join them for several week-long stints.
According to sources, Walking With The Wounded hopes that his girlfriend Meghan Markle, 35, may join the walk too.
The actress could also make a public appearance with Harry for his Invictus Games, which takes place in September in Toronto, the city where she lives.
Source: DAILYMAIL MAILONLINE