Princess of Wales Kate Middleton is formally supporting the upcoming expedition of Captain Preet Chandi across Antarctica. The latter, who is an officer and physiotherapist serving in the British Army currently, hopes to become the first woman to cross all of the ice-covered continent on her own.
Buckingham Palace confirmed the news of royal patronage on Tuesday (25). The 40-year-old Kate spoke over the phone the same day to wish her luck on her upcoming journey covering 1,000 miles.
Last winter, the explorer in her early 30s made history by becoming the first woman to make a solo trip to the South Pole, trekking a distance of 700 miles over 40 days, The New York Times reported.
The British-born Indian Sikh was awarded an MBE in the late Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honours List this year.
Captain Chandi, who is also known as “Polar Preet”, now has planned to return to Antarctica with an even bigger plan. She will venture out in early November to cross the frozen continent in a period of 75 days. She will be carrying out her mission through freezing temperatures of minus 68 degree Fahrenheit and winds blowing at 60 miles per hour and gear on a sleigh worth 265 pounds, People reported.
She will walk with the confidence that the Princess of Wales is cheering her.
In a statement, Captain Chandi said, “My aim for this expedition has always been to inspire people to push their boundaries. I want to bring people on this journey with me, to help them believe that nothing is impossible. It is an absolute privilege to have The Princess of Wales as the Patron.”
The palace said in a statement on behalf of Princess Kate, “The Princess has long been an advocate of the huge impact the outdoors can have on our wellbeing and the life skills it nurtures, such as confidence and resilience.
“She is committed to promoting this to young people, including through her work with organisations such as the Scouts, of which she is joint President. Preet’s historic expedition is the pinnacle of such activity and that is why The Princess is delighted to have been invited to be Patron.”
The Liverpool-based charity, Backyard Nature, is among her royal patronages.
The Prince and Princess of Wales confirmed the patronage and said Kate was ‘proud’ to be patron.
Posting a photo of Captain Chandi, they wrote: “Proudly supporting @polarpreet’s extraordinary challenge to become the first woman to cross Antarctica solo and unsupported.”
The news about the royal patronage comes at a time when the royal couple are thought to be spending time with their three children during their school’s half-term recess.
Currently, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, are off from classes at Lambrook, where the fall holiday started on October 14.
The siblings are set to return to the classroom along with their classmates on Halloween.