British royal Prince Harry and actors Alexander Skarsgard and Dominic West were forced to end their South Pole expedition early on Wednesday (18Dec13) to escape a major storm.
The trio embarked on the trip last month (Nov13) with teams of wounded soldiers as part of the Walking With The Wounded charity mission to raise money for injured servicemen and women, and they successfully reached the South Pole last Friday (13Dec13) after overcoming various safety concerns and inclement weather conditions.
They had been expected to remain in the Antarctic until the end of the week (20Dec13), but the adventurers were advised to fly out two days early to avoid becoming stranded as a result of the impending storm, which would likely have prevented them from arriving home for the holidays.
They left for Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday (18Dec13) and are due back in the U.K. on 23 December (13).
A statement released by expedition director, Ed Parker, early on Wednesday read, "Now on a very blustery, very snowy day, with a blizzard coming, we are about to fly out to... our Aleutian aircraft. That Aleutian aircraft will be flying us back to Cape Town, where we have a few days of decompression before returning home to our loved ones.
"We understand that the charity has been raising lots of money from our efforts, which it is ultimately all about, that and making people aware of how extraordinary our wounded men and women are and how they are able to challenge themselves in the future."