Kate Middleton Will Support Preet Chandi’s Brave Solo Antarctica Trek

The journey includes hauling a 120 kilogram sledge for 75 days in the snow.

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales and Preet Chandi, British Army Officer, both in 2022
Getty Images/Mark Cuthbert/Liam McBurney/PA Images

It is well known that Kate Middleton is a great advocate of life in the outdoors, having previously extended her royal sponsorship to Backyard Nature, a Liverpool-based charity. And now, the Princess of Wales has pledged her patronage to British Captain Preet Chandi as she sets on a journey to become the first woman to cross Antarctica alone.

Born in Derby, the 33-year-old officer is often called “Polar Preet” because in Jan. 2021, she was the first woman of colour to reach the South Pole without any extra aid. Chandi was awarded an MBE in Queens Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honours list for this accomplishment. While that expedition was traversed over 40 days, her upcoming adventure in Nov. will see the officer travel 1,000 miles enduring temperatures below 50 degrees and harsh wind speeds up to 60mph over a longer period of 75 days.

And there’s another catch, as Chandi will complete the tumultuous path while hauling a sledge weighing 120 kilograms with her belongings. On Oct. 26, the Prince and Princess of Wales posted a picture of the officer on their joint Instagram account announcing their “proud support” for Chandi on her challenge. In a statement, Kensington Palace also said Middleton was delighted to be invited as patron onto this momentous journey.

Meanwhile, 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.” She added, “It is an absolute privilege to have The Princess of Wales as the Patron.”

Chandi also spoke about the racist backlash she received when she began her training and how she chooses the term “woman of colour” with pride. “This term isn’t used to offend anyone. It is part of me and doing this expedition as a woman of colour is incredibly powerful,” she said. “Having been told on many occasions that I don’t look like a polar explorer… let’s change the image you expect to see.”