IT was the news that left the whole of Britain feeling on top of the world on the Queen's Coronation day.
As millions packed the streets of London to see young Queen Elizabeth crowned , it was announced that mountaineers Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay had become the first to conquer Everest .
Now, 70 years later, a wounded war hero has a date with destiny to make history when King Charles is crowned in May.
Hari Budha Magar had both legs blown off above the knee when he was a soldier in Afghanistan and a terrorist bomb exploded.
Despite his terrible injuries, father-of-three Hari has set his sights on climbing Everest, the world's highest mountain at 29,032ft, to coincide with the King's Coronation .
If he succeeds, ex-Gurkha Hari, 43, will become the first above-the-knee double-amputee to stand on the Himalayan summit.
Hari, from Canterbury, Kent, had aimed to do the climb in 2018. But the Nepalese authorities banned him because they feared he was too disabled to make the gruelling climb and would perish on Everest's snow-covered slopes.
Three people died making the attempt last year and four the year before. Hari had to go to court to overturn the ban.
He says: "Now, by a happy coincidence, I will be on Everest on the King's Coronation. It would be amazing if I could do it on that day.
"I may be on my way to the summit, or coming down. If we are at Base Camp we will organise a celebration, it all depends on the weather window."
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Hari, who lives with wife Urmila, 40, and their daughter Samjhana, 26, and sons 15-year-old Brian and nine-year-old Ubran, grew up in Nepal before joining the Gurkhas as a teenager.
His farming family were so poor, he walked barefoot for 45 minutes to school each day.
He has dreamed of climbing to the top of the world since he was a boy.
Hari says: "As children, we read the legendary stories of Mount Everest. Climbing the mountain is my destiny."
His dreams of being a mountaineer appeared to end in an instant on April 17, 2010, when he was caught in a boobytrap bomb blast. As well as losing his legs he was also left with a severely damaged arm.
Hari, a Corporal in the 1st Battalion Gurkha Rifles Regiment, was told he might not walk again.
He says: "Eighteen months after the blast, I couldn't even walk 100 metres.
"I thought my life was gone. I started mixing my medication with alcohol, as I was trying to deal with my pain as well as my emotions.
"I was lost. I'd joined the Gurkhas at 19, it was my life."
But he used the Gurkha motto "better to die than be a coward" to inspire his recovery, telling himself that not only would he walk again, he would brave an extraordinary feat.
He set his sights on climbing mountains, and started with the UK's highest peak, 4,413ft Ben Nevis in Scotland. He never looked back, scaling ever higher peaks, including Mont Blanc in the French Alps at 15,780ft, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, at 19,340ft, before tackling 20,000ft peaks in the Himalayas.
He admits: "I don't even walk properly now, but that doesn't stop me climbing mountains."
On his long road to recovery, Hari has had amazing support from King Charles and other royals.
He says: "I met The Queen, and I've met King Charles eight times, as he is the Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment. He always recognises me.
"He knows about me climbing Everest. He's always supportive. When I got injured, he sent me a letter."
But just before Christmas, during a training climb on Himlung Himal, a 23,400ft peak near Nepal's border with Tibet, Hari stared death in the face for the second time in his life.
His team were hit by a four-day blizzard that left them battling for survival at 20,000ft.
Buried by snow, the climbers had to dig themselves out and descend to 18,000ft in hip-deep drifts, resting in howling gales that flattened their tents.
As they waited to be rescued, a freak accident with a camping stove triggered a fire that threatened to engulf their tent. They managed to douse the blazing shelter with snow and thankfully, Hari's prosthetic legs, which were inside, survived.
Now out of food, they were also down to their last two matches, vital for lighting their back-up camping stove for hot water and heat until the storm blew out. Their only sustenance was slices of salami and half a packet of Horlicks malted milk drink they found in an abandoned tent.
Hari says: "I did think I could die on the mountain.
"When everything depends on the last two matches in your hands, you can feel a bit of pressure. At that moment we were focused on one thing — survival. I volunteered to strike the match to relight our camping stove. I was shaking.
"I said 'Namaste' and prayed 'Please make a spark'.
"I struck the match and it lit first time, but it was so freezing that the stove started sputtering. I was thinking 'Please don't die'.
"We moved it closer to the tent entrance and it lit with the extra oxygen. We cheered and clapped with relief, as we knew we were going to survive another day.
"I hadn't had Horlicks since I was young — it was fantastic as we desperately needed a hot drink and it gave us energy.
"After three days there was a slight break and five guys came to rescue us and take us back to Base Camp. Then, after four days, a Nepalese Army helicopter airlifted us out.
"There were so many incidents around the Himalayas due to the storm. All the helicopters were busy undertaking rescue operations."
Hari's battle to overcome his physical injuries inspired him to go to the Supreme Court in Nepal to win the right to undertake his historic climb, perviously prohibited for people with certain disabilities.
He says: "While I've had to adapt after my injuries, I've realised nothing is impossible. I just needed to find a different way of doing it.
"I joined forces with other climbers, disability organisations and people with disabilities to successfully overturn a ban on double amputees and the visually impaired from climbing Everest, at the Supreme Court in Nepal."
The actual climb presents further challenges. He explains: "Prosthetic legs are not designed to climb ice. Commercial crampons for amputees don't exist, so we had to design some. I will take three different pairs of feet with me, one for walking, one for rock climbing and one for ice and snow. I will also take two different pairs of prosthetic legs. One longer set to use on the walk to Base Camp.
"There I will change into my rock and ice climbing legs, which are short legs called 'stubbies' that have also been specially adapted.
"Where my prosthetic leg meets my stump there is a heating element because of frostbite. I can't afford to lose any more limbs.
"The human body is not designed to operate at the altitude I'll be climbing. Add to that my own challenges with reduced mobility and there is a whole new layer of difficulty."
Hari has a Crowdfunder page which has raised £150,000 of the £312,000 needed to fund his historic expedition.
What will drive him on every one of the nearly 30,000ft of the mountain will be the thought he can inspire others. A film crew will follow every gruelling, courageous step.
Hari says: "Reaching the summit is the ultimate test.
"My main aim is to raise awareness of disability and my message is that what- ever happens, life goes on until your last breath. People like myself should not be seen as miserable and living off benefits, but changing this perception will be a bigger battle than climbing Everest."
At the summit of the world's highest peak he aims to take a photograph of himself with a prayer flag, the flag of his former regiment and those of the charities and organisations that have helped him.
He adds: "This climb is not just for me, it's for people with disabilities, the Gurkhas, for veterans, for the United Kingdom, for Nepal.
"This is for all the people who have helped me. I hope I am able to make them proud."
- You can donate to Hari's crowdfunder at crowdfunder.co.uk/p/harieverest
WHAT HE'S CLIMBED
Ben Nevis (1,345m/4,413ft) – UK's highest mountain.
Mont Blanc (4,810m/15,780ft) – highest in the Alps.
Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m/19,340ft) – highest in Africa.
Mount Toubkal (4,167m/13,665ft) – highest in Morocco's Atlas Mountains.
Chulu Far East (6,059m/19,880ft) – in Nepal.
Mera Peak (6,654m/21,831ft) – next to Everest.
TELL US YOUR CORONATION MEMORIES
DO you remember the 1953 Coronation? Were you among the 8,000 people who crammed into Westminster Abbey? Did you see the parade through London?
Or were you among millions who watched TV for the first time when the Queen's Coronation was televised?
Perhaps your street had a party to celebrate? Or were your parents at the event?
Tell us YOUR Coronation stories by going online to thesun.co.uk/theking .
You can upload pictures – and don't forgot to let us know how we can contact you.
We will publish as many stories as we can in the run-up to the King's Coronation.
- Go to: thesun.co.uk/theking
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