William attends funeral of polar explorer Henry Worsley


The Duke of Cambridge has attended the funeral of polar explorer Henry Worsley, who died trying to make the first unassisted solo crossing of the Antarctic.

William was patron of the adventurer's Shackleton Solo Expedition and joined mourners at a central London church for the service.

A few days after Mr Worsley died last month, his family spoke of the "great comfort'' they had taken in knowing the huge impact he had on so many people.

The 55-year-old adventurer was aiming to complete the first unsupported and unassisted crossing of the Antarctic and was 30 miles from his goal when he had to be airlifted from the ice after falling ill.

He was flown to a hospital in Punta Arenas in Chile, where he was found to have bacterial peritonitis and underwent surgery but later died.

Mr Worsley was raising money for the Endeavour Fund, established by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which funds sporting and adventure challenges for wounded and sick servicemen and women.

Since his death the funds raised have soared to more than £315,000, more than treble his original target of £100,000.

A Kensington Palace spokeswoman confirmed the Duke's attendance at Mr Worsley's funeral, which was held at St Paul's Church in Knightsbridge.

William had waved off Mr Worsley, a former Army officer, from Kensington Palace in October, ahead of the start of the trek. He also sent the explorer a Christmas message, telling him how proud everyone was of him.

Following his death, the Duke and Harry pledged to ensure the adventurer's family, which includes his two children, Max, 21, and Alicia, 19, would receive the help they needed.

William said at the time of his death: "He was a man who showed great courage and determination and we are incredibly proud to be associated with him.

''Even after retiring from the Army, Henry continued to show selfless commitment to his fellow servicemen and women, by undertaking this extraordinary Shackleton solo expedition on their behalf.

''We have lost a friend, but he will remain a source of inspiration to us all, especially those who will benefit from his support to the Endeavour Fund."