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Prince Harry surprises disabled veteran on TV show

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The Duke of Sussex has congratulated a disabled veteran on a TV show saying he is the "definition of inspiration".

Prince Harry surprised former Lance Corporal Stephan Van Niekerk on Car S.O.S and told the veteran he "fully deserved" his improved vehicle.

Mr Van Niekerk lost his legs when an improvised explosive device exploded on his second tour of Afghanistan in 2009.

The 36-year-old, from Taunton, said it was "insane" Prince Harry had left him a message.

Mr Van Niekerk, 36, had taken his Jeep Grand Cherokee on the National Geographic car renovation show, Car S.O.S, for its persistent mechanical problems.

The former serviceman joined 3rd Battalion the Rifles, at the age of 21 before he was wounded seven years later.

He lost his left leg at the hop, his right below the knee and five fingers.

After the vehicle restoration was shown to Mr Van Niekerk, Prince Harry said in a video message: "I hope at this point you're sitting in your brand new, or certainly what looks like a brand new Jeep.

"Good on you mate, well done, fully, fully, fully deserved. I can't think of anyone that deserves this more than you."

"After getting injured at such a young age after two tours of Afghanistan, you are the definition of inspiration because you are not defined by your injury.

"You are defined by your selflessness to others, to your community, your inspirational talks to young people," he added.

The Prince went on to say he wished Mr Van Niekerk good luck in his challenge to cycle from Canada to Mexico raising money for Blesma, a military charity for limbless veterans, that he is a motivational speaker for.

The Duke of Sussex said: "I'm sure your whole family is incredibly proud of you.

"I'm proud of you. We're all proud of you... there's a reason you were chosen for this.

"So yeah, saddle up and enjoy your new wheels. And then make sure that you get as fit as you can for this next huge adventure that's coming your way and then you can smash that."

Prince Harry, who recorded the clip last year at his home in the US, has served in Afghanistan as a battlefield air controller and an Apache helicopter pilot.

The episode of Car S.O.S will be repeated on National Geographic on Sunday 26 March at 19:00 BST.

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