December 20, 2014 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

William and Harry Begin Their Trek Across Africa

Posted in: United Kingdom

The ride of a lifetime has begun for the two British royals. Princes William and Harry began their 1,000 mile motorcycle ride across southern Africa’s wilderness. It will be a gruelling trek, but the two brothers are up for the challenge. william harry africa 196x300 William and Harry Begin Their Trek Across Africa

“It’s going to be very challenging and we’re expecting to fall off many a time,” said Harry, 24, before more than 80 riders set off from the holiday resort of Port Edward on South Africa’s southeast coast.

This is the first time that the William and Harry – who aren’t even allowed to travel on the same plane for security reasons – have undertaken a challenge of this magnitude together before.

“We never really spend any time together as we have both got separate jobs going on at the moment. So it is going to be great fun,” added Harry.

“I don’t know how we are going to get on yet, we will have to tell you later. We might argue, we might have a bit of fun – we will have to see how it goes – but we are really looking forward it.”

Both brothers ride high performance motorbikes when in the UK, but William said they had not trained for the event.

william harry africa 3 300x200 William and Harry Begin Their Trek Across Africa“We both ride bikes at the moment but on-road biking is completely different. All the off-road stuff is up hills, down slopes, across rivers and is all rocky and hilly,” William said.

Questioned about which royal was the better rider, William said, diplomatically, that “we’re both quite good actually,” while his brother quipped: “We’ll have to wait and see in a couple of days time.”

Harry added: “We’ve got a secret bet with everybody else about who is going to fall off the most.

“Obviously it is going to be great fun but the most important thing for us all is that we are doing it for some wonderful charities.”

The charities that will benefit from this include Harry’s Sentebale, which helps needy children in Lesotho. The charities involved in this are UNICEF and Nelson Mandela’s Children Fund.

Both princes are one of 80 motorcyclists doing this trek. The princes will travel in a small group of 10 riders – which includes their bodyguards and a couple of close friends – including Shaun Davy, the brother of Harry ‘s girlfriend Chelsy, and schoolmate Tom Inskip – meeting up with their fellow competitors to compare bruises and exchange stories each night. Everyone is wearing heavy padding underneath their riding clothes.william harry africa 2 270x300 William and Harry Begin Their Trek Across Africa

While everyone travels through rough terrain, they will be meeting up with tribal people along the way.

Simon Smith, organiser of the event, said: “This is not a race it’s an endurance test, it’s all about finishing the route.

“Most days will be spent on goat tracks with wonderful tribal people who see the world in a very different way to us.

“It’s going to be one of the hardest and most demanding thing they will ever have done in their lives and at night they are going to struggle to get off their bikes as the pain will be so bad.

“The terrain is extremely rough and dangerous.At times they will be sitting on their bikes looking up at a 60 degree slope wondering how the hell they are going to get up it – not even realising there is a deep river crossing to get through on the other side.

“Much of it will be down to mental fitness. But the Princes have bags of personality and are big characters – they are both in the forces and it shows.”

Crown Princess Victoria’s Visit To India

Posted in: Sweden

The Swedish heir to the throne is right now on a 12 day tour of India. The visit is part of the Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week celebration. victoria india 2 300x205 Crown Princess Victorias Visit To India

Crown Princess Victoria has been anticipating this tour with much excitement, and said this to Indian journalists prior to her departure:

“I hope to be a door-opener for scores of opportunities between India and Sweden. I am looking forward to this trip as I believe it would be a great learning experience about the country.”

Victoria was certain that India will be attractive enough for her to make an extended personal trip sometime. “Even a lifetime is short to understand the culturally rich and diverse country. I want to take a private tour to explore the country better.”

The Crown Princess began her visit with a meeting with India’s vice president, Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari in New Delhi. Also in the same city, India’s capital, Victoria visited an NGO that dealt with women’s health issues.

victoria india1 300x199 Crown Princess Victorias Visit To IndiaAt that NGO, Victoria was greeted in a traditional India way: a garland of flowers placed around her neck, and a bindi applied to her forehead. The down-to-earth princess even sat on the floor with the women at the NGO to pose for photographers.

On Friday, Victoria briefly met with Javed Abidi at the Swedish embassy. Abidi works for India’s National Center of Promotion for Employment for Disabled People. This cause is close to the crown princess’ heart, as she is the patron of an organization back in Sweden for the disabled. victoria india 3 237x300 Crown Princess Victorias Visit To India

Later that night, Victoria returned to the Swedish Embassy for a dinner.

For the remainder of her trip, the crown princess will participate in celebrations for Sweden-India Nobel Memorial Week. Sweden is where most of the Nobel Prizes are handed out. The festivities include the celebration of the Swedish Management Day, the Nobel Memorial Lecture, the Memorial Round Table and the Nobel Party.

In addition, Victoria will also take time to visit Mumbai, Pune, Jaipur and Agra.

Agra should be a particularly fascinating visit for the future queen. That city is the location of the Taj Mahal.

Also, when she goes to Mumbai (formerly Bombay), Victoria may get a little starstruck.

“I hope to meet some big film stars from the industry,” she giggled.