It’s their first Valentine’s Day since getting hitched, but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle won’t be spending February 14th together this year.
Kensington Palace has revealed Harry is reporting for duty as Captain General Royal Marines in freezing Bardufoss, Norway to see how the Marines are training in the hostile environment 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle.
“Exercise Clockwork is the traditional name of the annual winter exercise, based in one of the world’s most demanding environments,” a rep for Kensington Palace told Fox News in a statement. “Set 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle in North Norway, Clockwork has trained over 16,000 Royal Marines and Royal Navy sailors and airmen since 1969.”
“Military personnel are taught how to survive, operate and fight in the extreme cold weather and gain experience of operating aircraft in severe cold weather and mountainous environments. The multinational exercise hosted by the Norwegian Armed Forces conducts Environmental Flying Qualifications, Cold Weather Survival, Tent Group Commander and Snow and Ice Driving Courses.”
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the exercise.
Harry is expected to meet some of the personnel living and training over six months of the year on the base. He will visit with a variety of outdoor Ground Training Stances, which will demonstrate the equipment and training that is conducted at Clockwork. The exercise is meant to show how personnel are taught to survive in extreme temperatures, as well as gain experience operating aircraft in mountainous, bone-chilling environments.
Harry was appointed Captain General in December 2017, succeeding his grandfather Prince Philip who previously held the role for 64 years. The 97-year-old has since retired from public life.
But Meghan, 37, who is expecting her first child with Harry, may not be too pleased about being solo on Valentine’s Day.
Back in 2015, the former Suits star took to her lifestyle blog The Tig and admitted that “hook, line and sinker, I am such a sucker for Valentine’s Day,” but also noted that she was an advocate of self-love.
“Last season, I was chatting with my Suits sister wives, Sarah [Rafferty] and Gina [Torres], and was in some sort of funk, bemoaning something that was so futile I don’t even remember what it was now,” recalled Meghan in her blog, quoted by People magazine ahead of her nuptials. “But I was faaaaaar from showing [myself] self-love.”
“One of them stopped me — truth be told I can’t remember which one because they both impart their safe wisdom with me on the daily — but one of the stylish wise ones stopped me and said, ‘Hey! That’s my friend you’re talking about. Be nice to her.’ They were protecting me from myself. From my own criticism, and my own self-doubt. They were reminding me to treat myself as well as I treat those closest to me. To be my own valentine.”
“This Valentine’s Day I will be with friends, running amock through the streets of New York, likely imbibing some cocktail that’s oddly punk, and jumping over icy mounds in my new shoes through the salted snowy streets of the West Village. But those shoes, by the way, were my gift to myself. Because I’ve worked hard, because I’m not going to wait for someone to buy me the things I covet (nor do I want to), and because I want to treat myself as well as I treat those dearest to me. Because I am my own funny Valentine.”
Meghan, now the Duchess of Sussex, and Harry tied the knot in May 2018. Their first child is due in April.