Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 15:19 UK

Marine to join prince on NY trip

Joe Townsend
Joe Townsend will visit wounded US troops with Prince Harry

A Royal Marine from East Sussex who lost both legs in Afghanistan will join Prince Harry on a visit to New York.

Joe Townsend, from Eastbourne, will accompany the prince on Friday when he visits wounded US troops at the Veterans Affairs Medical Centre.

Mr Townsend will be joined on the trip by his mother and the pair will also have a private tea with the prince.

Mr Townsend lost one leg completely and one leg below the knee when he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan in 2008.

It will be the marine's first meeting with the prince, who served with the army in Afghanistan for 10 weeks between December 2007 and February 2008.

Forging links

A spokesman for St James's Palace said: "Prince Harry has long been a supporter of efforts to support the work and sacrifice of so many British servicemen and women."

He added that the prince was looking to forge links with the community of young wounded veterans in the US and was delighted that a British serviceman would be with him as he did so.

On Saturday, Mr Townsend will be a guest of honour at a New York Mets baseball game and the expenses for his trip will be met by Mets owner Fred Wilpon.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown stepped in earlier this year when councillors rejected plans for a specially-adapted bungalow for Mr Townsend on his grandfather's land.

A revised version of the plans was subsequently approved.

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