Launching an expedition to Mount Everest for wounded soldiers at a Plymouth naval base on Tuesday Prince Harry was greeted by a familiar face - Royal Marine Ben McBean. The Prince had flown out of Afghanistan in February in the same aircraft as the badly wounded young soldier.

Ben, who lost an arm and leg while serving and was praised by Harry as "the real hero", is one of a number of soldiers hoping to take part in the Khumbu Challenge, of which the young royal is patron.

At the launch Ben joined four other servicemen in scaling an 18-foot practise wall, prompting Harry to call out: "No pressure Ben, I'll buy you a beer if you reach the top!". His mission completed, the 21-year-old said he intends to take the Prince up on his offer.

After watching the climbing demonstration Harry signed flags that will be flown at Everest base camp when the expedition is in residence. The teams including injured soldiers will trek to Everest base camp and attempt a climb of Kala Patthar Mountain.

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Harry greets Ben who, badly injured, flew out of Afghanistan on the same place as the Prince, at Devonport Naval Base. The 21-year-old Royal Marine is looking forward to the climbing challenge, saying: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity" Photo: © Rex
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Watching Ben begin his ascent of the climbing wall, the young royal bets him a pint of beer if he reaches the top Photo: © Rex
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