Paralympic torchbearers an inspiration, says Prince Harry

Prince Harry yesterday praised the “inspirational people” who will carry the Paralympic Torch to mark the arrival of the Games.

The Prince said in a video message published yesterday that torchbearers were the “embodiment of Paralympic values” as they prepare to carry the flame in a 24-hour relay before Wednesday’s opening ceremony.

Harry, who has been in the headlines this week after naked pictures emerged of him partying in Las Vegas, recorded the message in May, St James’s Palace said. In the message, Harry said: “On August 29 the Paralympics will begin and we can look forward to a spectacular showcase of sport, full of unique passion, drama and emotion.

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“Our Paralympic athletes are finalising their preparations for the Games, getting ready to compete for gold on home soil.

“The Paralympic torch relay is the curtain-raiser to the Games and a celebration of the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality.”

A ceremonial cauldron was lit in Trafalgar Square yesterday to launch the torch relay, which will be followed by similar events in Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The four national flames will be brought together in Stoke Mandeville, Bucks, home to the internationally acclaimed spinal injuries unit, on Tuesday where they will create the Paralympic flame, signalling the start of the relay.

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Starting out from Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the Paralympic flame will be carried 92 miles by 580 torchbearers, working in teams of five, through Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and London to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.

There it will be used to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the Games on the evening of August 29.

Royal naked pictures row: Page 6.