When Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, made his first visit to meet the royal marines at the base in Lympstone, Devon, in his capacity as captain general last week, he also got to meet with some of the Invictus Games racing drivers.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the prince decided to have a bit of fun on the side as well, putting a £100 — approximately $131 — wager down with former commando Paul Vice MC that he would be able to beat him in a fastest lap contest.
When Prince Harry was a serving member of the armed forces, he flew Apache helicopters. In 2011, he provided air support to Corporal Vice and his division while Vice was serving his fourth tour. Meeting again last week at the training base, the pair hugged before Vice gave the prince a tour of the race car.
The duke ended up in the driver’s seat of the car, and decided to offer up a wager to Vice while revving the engine of the car. For £100 — to be donated to charity, of course — Harry bet he would be able to do a faster lap than Vice. The former commando laughed at the prince, joked about doing donuts on the parade square, and accepted the bet with a shake of hands.
Prince Harry bets Invictus Games GT driver £100 that he can beat him in a fastest lap challenge | Daily Mail Online https://t.co/15CMWY7XEi
— ian hardy (@vikianuk) September 17, 2018
While the pair have yet to set a date to carry their wager out, Vice has offered to “act as the Official Royal Racing Instructor to get the prince to a decent standard” before they race, and Harry was more than happy to accept the offer.
Vice had nothing but praise for the royal after their encounter.
“As ever, it was a pleasure to meet the duke, who was incredibly generous with his time. I showed him around our car and he loved sitting in the racing seat – he was asking lots of questions about the controls and what the car is like to drive. That’s when he said that he reckoned he could drive it quicker than me on a lap of the track – so I thought, ‘You’re on!’ and then the duke suggested we wager £100 on it for charity.”
Vice was injured during his fourth tour of duty in 2011, when he stepped on a command wire Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while out on a foot patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. The device detonated underneath his unit, and Corporal Vice suffered traumatic brain injury which resulted in paralysis in his right arm. He also had over 400 individual pieces of shrapnel removed from his body during surgery.
Five other men in his section were grievously injured in the explosion. He describes it as “[taking] from me the one thing I felt I was born to do – be a soldier.” Vice competed in the very first installment of the Invictus Games in 2014, where he won a gold medal for cycling.
He later also had to have his left leg amputated below the knee, and was officially discharged from the military in 2015.
To date, he is the most successful male Invictus Games athlete, having taking home a tidy sum of seven medals from the 2016 installment.