Kate Middleton Tries Training Exercises (Involving Pulling Tires!) as She Meets Antarctica Explorer
Kate Middleton is congratulating Captain Preet Chandi on her record-breaking expedition in Antarctica — in person!
The Princess of Wales visited Landau Forte College Derby on Wednesday to celebrate Captain Chandi's solo expedition across Antarctica. Kate, 41, was a patron of Chandi's endeavor, where Chandi broke the world record for the furthest unsupported solo polar expedition in history. She covered 922 miles in 70 days and 16 hours, skiing for 13 to 15 hours per day while carrying her supplies on a 265-lbs. sled and battling temperatures of -22 °F.
Captain Chandi is now visiting schools across the U.K. to share her story and inspirational message to push boundaries. At her hometown school, Chandi made a speech to students and presented an award to Simrat Soggi, one of the winners of her national school logo competition.
Princess Kate greeted Chandi, known by her nickname "Polar Preet," with a hug.
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Arthur Edwards/AP/Shutterstock Princess Kate and Preet Chandi
Princess Kate joined students taking part in activities related to Chandi's expedition and her preparation for it, including some examples of how she trained and the types of food she consumed. The royal removed her white blazer and put on a harness to drag a series of tires across the floor behind her, simulating how Chandi pulled her sled.
Arthur Edwards/AP/Shutterstock Kate Middleton with Preet Chandi
"I need to do some training," Kate said after the exercise, according to the Daily Mail.
Princess Kate and Captain Chandi then spoke to students about building resilience and mental well-being in all aspects of life.
Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales
Following the engagement, Kate's shared Twitter page with Prince William praised Chandi.
"Record breaker. History maker. @PreetChandi10 is a shining example of fortitude," read the caption accompanying photos from the outing. "Today it's been fantastic to hear all about her polar expedition and see how she is inspiring the next generation of young girls to believe they can achieve anything they put their mind to."
ARTHUR EDWARDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales
Although Chandi fell short of completing her goal of trekking coast-to-coast, the explorer shared that she was proud of her accomplishment.
"I'm disappointed that I ran out of time to make the crossing of Antarctica which would have been around another 100 miles. But I also feel I did everything I could. I didn't take a single day off in 70 days and pushed the hours every single day," she wrote on Instagram. "I'm also proud of myself, I kept going when it was tough, when I thought I couldn't do anymore. I wanted to continue to push my boundaries and hopefully inspire others to do the same."
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty, Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty
Buckingham Palace announced Princess Kate's patronage of Chandi's inspiring expedition in October 2022, with the Princess of Wales voicing her support for the "extraordinary challenge" in an accompanying Instagram message. Chandi set out on the ambitious mission to inspire future generations to believe in themselves, push themselves and promote empowerment through the great outdoors.
Last winter, Chandi 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 reported. In recognition of her accomplishment, she was awarded an MBE in Queen Elizabeth's Birthday Honours List.
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Arthur Edwards/The Sun/AP/Shutterstock Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales
The Princess of Wales is a longtime advocate of the impact the outdoors can have on well-being 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 organizations such as the Scouts, of which she is joint President.