BEING away from your pregnant wife on your first Valentine’s Day as a married couple would be tough for anyone.
But 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle, Prince Harry at least had a reminder of Meghan – when he found an ice shelter adorned with his wedding photos.
He had flown to Bardufoss in northern Norway by private jet from London – a day trip believed to have cost taxpayers up to £20,000 – in his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines.
Around 800 British personnel are taking part in a gruelling winter training programme dubbed Exercise Clockwork, where recruits are taught to fight, survive and operate in temperatures as low as -30C (-22F).
Shown around a makeshift igloo, known as a Quincey Shelter, Harry discovered the troops had jokingly decorated it with some of his wedding pictures. Spotting them, he laughed: ‘You weirdos! Nice.’ He added: ‘It’s very kind of you to invite me into your private, err, shrine. Romantic. Homely in there isn’t it.’ Stepping out into the fresh air, he added: ‘It starts to get a little bit weird after a while.’
Checking the troops had remembered to send cards to their wives, he teased them about getting into trouble and reminisced about his days in the Forces. He then asked: "How’s morale been?" before joking: ‘The RAF guys will be struggling the most, will they?"
The Duke of Sussex, Captain General @RoyalMarines, meets deployed ranks at Exercise Clockwork, 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle in North Norway — where military personnel are taught how to survive, operate and fight in the extreme cold weather #ExerciseClockwork pic.twitter.com/E6KqJFx6Oc— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) February 14, 2019
Sergeant Ads Lesley said of the prince: "He was really keen to engage ... He had a smile on his face."
At #ExerciseClockwork, 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle in North Norway The Duke of Sussex, Captain General @RoyalMarines receives a briefing on the operation in Bardufoss, which marks its 50th anniversary this year. 🇬🇧🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/9xXes0lXYE— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) February 14, 2019
And, after the three-hour visit, Harry flew back home to Kensington Palace – just in time for a Valentine's dinner with Meghan.Daily Mail