The Duke of York has abseiled from the top of Europe's tallest building, saying the most difficult part was climbing the stairs.Prince Andrew's daredevil descent of the Shard skyscraper in London began on the 87th floor just below the top of the 1,016ft tower and finished an hour later on level 20.
After completing the 785ft feat, the 52-year-old royal said: "I'm not even going to say that was a piece of cake or not. I will never do it again. I have to say the most difficult bit was walking up the stairs."
Andrew, who overcame his fear of heights for the abseil, described how he prepared for the challenge.
"You have a moment to realise what you are doing and where you are going to go.
"The difficult bit was actually stepping out over the edge so the training I had done over the summer with the Royal Marines in Arbroath gave me the confidence to step out over the edge without too much trepidation."
Andrew was part of a group of around 40 people who lowered themselves down the building for the educational charity The Outward Bound Trust and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund . They hope to raise £1m.
Outward Bound will use the money for outdoor activities and to help children who live in inner cities.
Donors have given more than £290,000 to sponsor Andrew, who is the Outward Bound Trust's chairman of trustees.
As a former Royal Navy helicopter pilot who served in the Falklands War, he said the Marines were close to his heart.
Andrew said he came up with the idea as a fundraising opportunity last year when the skyscraper was being built.
Asked what the Queen thought about his descent, the Duke of York said: "When I spoke to her last at Balmoral she was interested in why we were doing it and when I spoke to her about all the safety and the activities that were going on around it, about the teamwork... she understood what all the risks were and like the incredible monarch she is, she was entirely happy."
After Andrew completed the first descent of the day, he was followed by Foreign Secretary William Hague's wife Ffion, who is Outward Bound's deputy chairman.
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Mrs Hague described abseiling from such a height as "scary, exhilarating and truly terrifying" and said her husband thought she was mad when she first mentioned the idea.
She said: "I am very glad it is over and I wouldn't necessarily want to do it again but, my goodness, I am glad I have done it.
"I was trying very hard to focus on remembering the view because very few people in London will have seen London from that angle, from this fantastic building."
As one of the longest abseils ever undertaken by civilians, the descent has support from the Royal Marines who specialise in operating in extreme environments.