Prince Harry has set off on a charity trek to the South Pole in aid of wounded soldiers.

Harry, 29, is set to arrive in South Africa today (Monday) in the first leg of his trek to the frozen continent.

The fourth in line to the throne is undertaking the 210 mile-long course in a race between three teams of four soldiers from the UK, the Commonwealth and the United States.

From South Africa, Harry will go to the Russian outpost of Novolazarevskaya, located on the edge of the continent.

Should he complete the adventure to the centre of the Antarctic, then it will follow 2011's successful voyage to the North Pole for the charity 'Walking with the Wounded.'

Accompanying each team during the race will be a mentor and a polar guide.

Walking with the Wounded was set up three years ago to help injured soldiers with the transition between military and civilian life. Previously, the charity's expeditions included a trip up Everest and the North Pole.

Prince Harry said: "All the men and women behind me have achieved so much just to get here, let alone actually walk to the South Pole.

"It's just a wonderful display of courage on their part.

"These guys aim to achieve something quite remarkable, and in doing so will prove to everybody else that even though you've lost a leg or lost an arm, or whatever your illness may be, that you can achieve pretty much anything if you put your mind to it."

"This trip is another way of reminding everybody that as Afghanistan draws down and these guys aren't in the news any more. The support must continue."

Army veteran Ibrar Ali hailed Harry ahead of the trek: "He's a great team member and just fits in really well so no different to anyone else."