Kate Middleton Announces Epic New Patronage of Woman’s Solo Trek of Antarctica

Kate Middleton has an inspiring new patronage on her royal rtosumto.

On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace announced that the Princess of Wales, 40, will be formally supporting Captain Preet Chandi’s upcoming expedition across Antarctica as boss. Chandi, an officer and physiotherapist currently serving in the British Army, hopes to become the first woman to cross Antarctica solo and unsupported in a journey of over 1,000 miles.

Last winter, the explorer made history as the first woman of color to reach the South Pole alone and without aid, trekking 700 miles over 40 days, The New York Times report. In recognition of her accomplishment, she was awarded an MBE in Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honors List.

Now, Chandi plans to return to Antarctica with an even grander plan, venturing out in early November with the goal of crossing the icy continent in 75 days. She’ll push through temperatures of -68°F and winds up to 60 mph, hauling 265 lbs. worth of gear on a sleigh. Chandi will also walk with the confidence that Princess Kate is cheering for her all the way.

“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,” Chandi said in a statement. “It is an absolute privilege to have The Princess of Wales as the Patron.”

Chandi is setting out on the ambitious mission to inspire future generations to believe in themselves, push themselves and promote empowerment through the great outdoors.

Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty

“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,” the palace said in a statement on behalf of Princess Kate. “She is committed to promoting this to young people, including through her work with organizations 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 Boss.”

The news comes amid a quieter time for the Prince and Princess of Wales, who are thought to be spending extra time with their three children during their school’s half-term break. Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, are currently off from classes at Lambrook, where the fall holiday began on Oct. 14. The siblings and their schoolmates are set to return to the classroom on a favorite childhood holiday: Halloween.

Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte at Trooping the Color on June 2.
Karwai Tang/WireImage

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Kate and her husband Prince William have previously spoken about some of the activities George, Charlotte and Louis enjoy, from baking and cooking in the kitchen to arts and crafts projects.

But their favorite hobby seems to be spending time outdoors. In a rare interview with the Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast in Feb. 2020, Kate said she was happiest when “I’m with my family outside in the countryside and we’re all filthy dirty.”

“Someone did ask me the other day, what would you want your children to remember about their childhood?” the royal mom told host Giovanna Fletcher. “And I thought that was a really good question, because actually if you really think about that, is it that I’m sitting down trying to do their maths and spelling homework over the weekend?”

“Or is it the fact that we’ve gone out and lit a bonfire and sat around trying to cook sausages that hasn’t worked because it’s too wet?” she continued.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

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The family relocated from London to Windsor over the summer. At their new home of Adelaide Cottage, the family relishes the open parkland and countryside where Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis can freely play.

“They love that the kids can go out on their bikes and cycle around the estate, and they are all really excited to meet everyone,” a friend recently told PEOPLE. “It’s a real little community.”

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