Princess of Wales greets polar world record-breaker at school visit

A British Army officer who set a new world record for the longest solo and unsupported polar expedition has been congratulated in person by Catherine, Princess of Wales. Preet Chandi, known as Polar Preet, was introduced to the princess at Landau Forte College in Derby, her home city.

In January Capt Chandi, 33, beat the previous world record of 907 miles (1,459.8km), set in 2015. The pair exchanged words before the royal visitor was given a tour. Capt Chandi told Catherine: “I’m so excited to have you in my home town.”

The princess said the Army officer was a “huge inspiration” who had achieved an “incredible goal”.
During her Antarctic expedition, Capt Chandi covered 922 miles (1,485km) in 70 days and 16 hours, despite difficult conditions. Afterwards she described it as “the toughest thing I’ve ever done”.

The feat came a year after she made history by completing what is thought to be the first solo expedition across Antarctica by a woman of colour.

Capt Chandi, a physiotherapist at a regional rehabilitation unit in Buckinghamshire, has also become the first woman to have skied solo to the South Pole twice.
The princess gave a speech to students and staff following a presentation from the record-breaker.

“I’m not quite sure how I follow Preet’s amazing presentation but she’s been a huge inspiration I’m sure to all of you, and certainly to me,” she said.

“It’s been great to see her channelling what she’s been able to achieve in the years that she’s been working towards this incredible goal.

“I really hope it inspires you all to believe in yourself, to push your boundaries and also to look and really work on your own resilience too. The two women also led a discussion with a number pupils about the importance of mental wellbeing and resilience.

Jasmine Dhnota, 17, said: “It was surreal, it was incredible, it was so inspiring, and what they had to talk about with mental health really hit home.”

Wiktoria Narusz, also 17, said: “It was so inspiring seeing Captain Preet come and talk about how she really had to overcome all those downs she had during her expedition and really show her resilience

Source: BBC

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