March 3 - Prince Edward, a patron of the British Paralympic Association (BPA), has pulled out of attending the Sochi Winter Paralympics on Government advice as tensions over Russia's occupation of Crimea intensify.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has said none of his Ministers will attend the Games, which are due to open on Friday (March 7).
In a message on Twitter, Cameron wrote: "Because of the serious situation in Ukraine, [Foreign Secretary] @WilliamJHague & I believe it would be wrong for UK Ministers to attend the Sochi Paralympics."
Prince Edward, the Queen's son who is eighth in line to the throne, became Royal Patron of the BPA in 2003 and has attended every Paralympic Games since.
Russia has been heavily condemned by the world's major powers after it sent thousands of troops into Ukraine's Crimea, saying it was obliged to protect its interests following unrest in the country.
A spokesman for the BPA said: "We are clearly monitoring the events in Ukraine and continue to be in close contact with the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), who are leading on security matters.
"We completely understand the decisions that have been taken that mean UK Ministers and His Royal Highness The Prince Edward will not attend the Sochi Paralympic Games.
"We are grateful for their continued full support for the British team to compete in Sochi.
"Our focus remains on preparing for the Paralympic Games.
"By the end of the day today [Monday] our full team of athletes will be out there and will be busy with their final training.
"Our preparations continue as planned and we are looking forward to the sport commencing in five days time."
The Paralympic Torch is currently making its way across Russia ahead of nine days of competition.
Forty-five countries are due to take part in the Games.
"As with situations around the world, we hope a peaceful resolution can be found in the spirit of the Olympic Truce, which has covered the Paralympic Games since 2006," said International Paralympic Committee (IPC) spokesman Craig Spence.
"We want the story here to be the great festival of sport that has already taken place in Sochi and will continue now that athletes are arriving for the start of the Winter Paralympics on 7 March.
"The IPC is here in Sochi to organise a major international sporting event, and not to get involved in global politics."