Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday that Kate Middleton is sending a British woman to Antarctica, and not since Leon Trotsky got banished to Siberia or Lisa Barlow left New York for Salt Lake City has going somewhere friggin’ freezing ever been so hot.
According to People, the new Princess of Wales will be “formally sponsoring” Captain Preet Chandi’s trek across Antarctica as a patron. The British Army officer, who was the first woman of color to make it to the South Pole alone last winter, will become the first woman to trek over the 1,000+ mile path alone. Now Chandi’s returning to Antarctica in early November with the plan of completing her trek in just 75 days.
"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, inexplicably. "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 Patron."
“She'll push through temperatures of -68°F and winds up to 60 mph, hauling 265 lbs. worth of gear on a sleigh,” People reported. “Chandi will also walk with the confidence that Princess Kate is cheering for her all the way.”
I assumed that a “royal patronage” meant that Kate was funding the entire excursion, but this statement from Buckingham Palace does make it seem like the largest asset Kate can give is some metaphorical rah-rah-rahing for our intrepid girl explorer. (In fact, a little digging seems to suggest that the concept of a royal patronage is more of a “brand ambassador” situation and often doesn’t come with any money at all.)
I thought it would at least be enough money to be a Canada Goose Cropped Snow Mantra Parka in the Plum Blossom colorway ($1,495). And maybe an iPad with all 25 seasons of The Only Way is Essex downloaded for some comfort during those frigid nights.