On Monday 3 September, HRH The Duke of York and Ffion Hague will be abseiling the The Shard in support of the educational charity The Outward Bound Trust and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

They will be joined by a further 38 participants who will take part in the ‘Descent of The Shard’ all pledging to raise considerable funds for the two charities. Twenty of this dare devil group will take part in the full abseil which spans 250m between the summit of the building at the 87th floor down to the 20th floor. The other twenty will abseil the shorter but highest distance between the summit and 78th floor.

As one of the longest abseils ever undertaken by civilians the ‘Descent of The Shard’ will have the support from the Royal Marines, the UK’s elite Commando Forces, who specialise in operating in extreme environments. They will also provide training and support on the day for those taking part in the abseil as they make their descent.

LBQ Limited, owners of The Shard, said: “We are delighted to welcome HRH The Duke of York back to The Shard following his role in the building’s inauguration. We are extremely pleased that The Shard is the centrepiece of this huge fund raising exercise for these incredibly worthy causes. Equally important to us is that these charities, The Outward Bound Trust and Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund, are going to involve a number of young Southwark residents in the abseil. They will also be making a substantial number of bursaries available to hundreds of young people from the Borough to attend The Outward Bound Trust’s life-changing courses.”

The Descent of The Shard will be led by The Outward Bound Trust’s Chairman, HRH The Duke of York, supported by other members of the trustee board and the money will provide bursaries for young people to attend The Outward Bound courses. The Duke will also support the efforts to raise money for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

A minimum of £100,000 will be allocated to specifically support young people in Southwark and enable over 700 young people from the Borough to attend an Outward Bound Course. The remainder will be used to complete a major redevelopment of The Trust’s founding centre in North Wales.

The Outward Bound Trust is the UK’s leading provider of bursary-assisted outdoor learning and has worked with over 1 million young people since its foundation in 1941. HRH The Duke of York succeeded HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as Chairman of Trustees to The Outward Bound Trust in 1999 and has since devoted much of his time to the organisation.

The unique event will be taking place on Monday 3 September. Donations in support of HRH The Duke of York and Ffion’s abseil can be made at


On 5 July 2012 Western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard, was formally inaugurated by His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabor Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar and HRH the Duke of York KG. They unveiled The Shard during a ceremony held inside the building’s lobby and were then given an exclusive visit to the viewing gallery on level 69. The event marked the physical completion of the exterior of the building – which is fast becoming one of the most recognisable London skyline silhouettes. The inauguration represented the culmination of a 12-year journey to build a significant new landmark on the London skyline. Designed by renowned master architect Renzo Piano and developed by Sellar Property, The Shard now stands at 310m (1,016 ft). The Shard’s 95-stories will become a ‘vertical town’ comprising office space, residences, restaurants, the five-star Shangri-La Hotel and The View from The Shard viewing galleries. The inauguration was also marked by a spectacular light and laser show which illuminated the building that night. The Shard is owned by LBQ Limited, comprising the State of Qatar (the majority shareholder) and Sellar Property, with non-equity funding by Qatar National Bank. Commenting on the inauguration, His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Saoud Al Thani, Governor of Qatar Central Bank and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Shard Funding Limited and London Bridge Quarter, said, “Standing at almost 310 metres, The Shard will be one of the tallest buildings in Western Europe. For me however, the height of the Shard is only secondary. What is special is the solid and continuing relationship between two nations – Qatar and Britain – which has been an important factor in completing this project.” He added, “The Shard has already become an important symbol for London – a symbol of our close relationship – rooted in the foundations of economic growth, social development and mutual trust and goodwill.” Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property and partner of LBQ Limited said, “Today marks the physical completion of The Shard. It is a major step towards the ultimate realisation of our vision for London Bridge Quarter – a new dynamic district for our city with The Shard at its centrepiece.” The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, “The Shard is more than just an amazing feat of engineering, it is a towering illustration of London’s determination to beat the recession and spur economic growth. This iconic, sparkling new addition to the capital’s skyline will act as a huge commercial magnet, pulling in scores of new businesses and offering vital employment opportunities for thousands of people.” Internal work is continuing on The Shard and it will be open to the public in 2013.