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Duke of York to abseil down the Shard

The Duke of York will abseil down the Shard skyscraper in London for charity today.

The Duke of York will abseil down the Shard Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive

The 52-year-old royal is one of around 40 people to lower themselves down Europe's tallest building for educational charity The Outward Bound Trust and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

The Shard is the tallest building in Europe Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Other participants include Ffion Hague, the wife of Foreign Secretary William Hague, and leading businessmen and women.

The Shard is the tallest building in Europe, and its viewing galleries will be open to the public in February next year.

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Spokesman for the Shard: 'People panicked unnecessarily'

A general view of The Shard and the City of London. Credit: PA

A spokesman for the Shard said: "The wind got up a bit more than we were anticipating.

I think it was seen from a helicopter and people panicked unnecessarily.

Three workmen were still working on the London Bridge Station side of the Shard this afternoon, having come down as far as around the 25th floor. The trio could be seen slowly descending down the side of the glass-sided building, washing the windows as they went.

There were no signs of them being in any difficulty despite blustery conditions around the skyscraper."

Witness to Shard accident: 'Window cleaning box was swinging wildly'

Witness Neil Walsh was waiting for a train at nearby London Bridge station when he saw the drama unfold.

The 30-year-old marketing executive from Dartford, Kent, who filmed the incident on his phone, said:

I go through there every day and always have a gawp up at the Shard to see what's happening.

I happened to notice that the window cleaning box was swinging wildly. It was quite erratic...

It was dangling from quite a thin arm and was a few feet away from the building itself, rocking left, right, up and down. It was swinging all over the place. The last few days have been windy and it must have been worse up there.

Cradle gets stuck on the 72nd floor of The Shard

The Shard in central London pictured on May 30th 2012 during its construction. Credit: PA

Emergency services were sent to the Shard - days before its official opening - after a cradle got stuck in a precarious position on the 72nd floor.

Ten firefighters attended the scene in central London after reports of the cradle on the outside of the building becoming unsafe.

On-site engineers fixed the problem. An ambulance was on standby at the bottom of the 309.6 metre (1,015ft) high building.

London Fire Brigade, which sent a fire engine and fire rescue unit to the Shard, said on Twitter: "On site engineers at the #Shard have made the cradle safe".

The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe will be opened by Qatar's prime minister and the Duke of York on Thursday.

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