Princess Kate is a keen new patron of Preet Chandi’s Antarctica expedition

The new Princess of Wales hasn’t done any public events in nearly two weeks. We probably won’t see her at all until November, as the Wales kids are currently on their half-term break. Apparently, it’s the height of bad parenting – according to William and Kate – for parents to do one iota of work during their kids’ school holidays. A source suggested that the Waleses are actually spending this two-week period at Adelaide Cottage in Windsor. That’s doubtful. I bet they’re either on holiday abroad or staying at Anmer Hall in Norfolk. In any case, their Kensington Palace office sent out a notice of a new “patronage” for Kate. She will now “support” Captain Preet Chandi’s expedition to Antarctica:

On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace announced that the Princess of Wales, 40, will be formally supporting Captain Preet Chandi’s upcoming expedition across Antarctica as patron. 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 reported. In recognition of her accomplishment, she was awarded an MBE in Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honours 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.”

“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 organisations 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.”

[From People]

“The Princess is delighted to have been invited to be Patron” – meaning that this isn’t even an association sought out by Kate. This was not Kate following Chandi’s expeditions and wanting to get involved. This is yet another thing handed to Kate on a silver platter and being told “this will highlight your interest in the outdoors.” Kate probably rolled her eyes and asked Chandi if she had even heard about Kate’s Special Royal Arse Log.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images, Instar.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

64 Responses to “Princess Kate is a keen new patron of Preet Chandi’s Antarctica expedition”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Aurora says:

    Didn’t Harry actually travel to Antarctica as a patron? The Keens try to copy the Sussexes but without the passion and hard work.

  2. Becks1 says:

    I think this is the kind of thing they should start backing away from, honestly. Because my first reaction to reading this was – what does it mean that she’s the patron? She posted a picture on social media? She could have shown support for this endeavor without being named “patron” (but then I guess it wouldn’t count as work?) I’m sure the royal foundation is not sending any money towards Preet chandi and this expedition.

    It definitely sounds like this was something put together by BP and that Kate was told she is now the patron, but again, I just think it highlights how worthless it is to have a “royal patron.”

    And yeah the Cambridges are definitely out of the country. I think we might get a pap pic later this week as proof that they did NOT leave the country but they will all have nice new tans.

    • L84Tea says:

      My first thought was ‘Kate is never going to travel to Antarctica or the Poles or anywhere else for this’, so what is even the point of being associated with this?

    • equality says:

      You mean her employees posted a picture so zero effort from Kate so far.

    • Scooby Gang says:

      “Because my first reaction to reading this was – what does it mean that she’s the patron? She posted a picture on social media?”

      @Becks1 – My thoughts exactly. And I bet they count her social posts as work engagements. 😉

      Why not serve as patron of ONE thing and truly support and get involved?

    • Cessily says:

      That is what I don’t understand, where does the money go? They do not financially back any of the charities or causes they represent so what is the money for? It’s like all the top heavy “awareness charities” for breast cancer that just tell you to get a mammogram, I only send money to ones what actually help people with the costs of mammograms and cancer treatments for those in need they are actually making a difference. Her being a patron of anything doesn’t help those who need it so to me it is pointless.

    • Lemons says:

      Being a patron means funding a portion if not all of the expedition. Is that happening? Or she’s just clapping from her couch and posting on IG? These people are so weird. How can they only come up with bad ideas?

    • Nic919 says:

      I was wondering this too. There is no reference to providing any financial support for this trek. Just a phone call which is useless. And this type of thing would have garnered publicity without attaching Kate’s name to it.

      • goofpuff says:

        Yep, I doubt they are even going to bother helping her financially. And I doubt Kate even knows who this woman is.

  3. Amy Bee says:

    The statement make it sound like Preet and Kate are not talking about two different events.

  4. Tessa says:

    The photos chosen of Kate for this story are perfect lol

  5. SURE says:

    Who exactly invited her to be patron (can’t be bothered reading the article)

    • Visa Diva says:

      The invites don’t come out of the blue. Generally if a royal is “invited” to be a patron/president etc, there’s been some quiet discussions in advance where the royal or their office lets it be known they’d be open to being invited to being a patron. Similiar to state visits, there’s always a formal invitation from the host nation, but they haven’t issued it without advance discussions of timing and knowledge that the invite won’t be rejected.

  6. A says:

    Capt. Chandi sounds beyond cool anyway. Good luck to her!

    • Janet DR says:

      Yes! Wishing her all the best with her journey!

    • Nic919 says:

      I’m pretty sure Captain Chandi doesn’t take 20 weeks worth of holidays at taxpayer expense either. It’s pretty glaring how little Kate has done with her life and how little she’s helped others despite her immense privilege when you look at what women like Captain Chandi have done with far less.

  7. Cerys says:

    Good luck to Chandi Preet with her expedition. However, she is unlikely to get much support from her new patron except perhaps for a video message offering congratulations once it’s all over.

  8. Chaine says:

    They’ve made the word patron completely meaningless. The old days, a patron would have been someone who provided major financial backing for such an expedition. As we all know, the Royals don’t give any money, only smiles. This is less about Kate being a patron helping Preet than it is Kate who has no real accomplishments attaching herself to a woman whose public popularity springs from actual achievements and character.

    • Pam says:

      I know! It seems ridiculous. It might be one thing if they at least helped raise money for a cause, but they really don’t seem to even do that.

    • Nic919 says:

      This is not the first time Kate has tried to glom on the popularity of other women who have really accomplished things with their lives.

      No mention of the royal foundation even providing financial support either. Just a phone call. Not much effort there.

    • goofpuff says:

      Preet is helping Kate more than Kate is helping Preet.

      “royal patron” = “royal pr” and nothing with being a true patron and giving financial assistance.

  9. Alexandria says:

    It’s her job. It’s basically an article applauding you when you do your job but you’re already paid to do it. She’s doing what she’s supposed to do, but just the bare minimum of course.

    • BeanieBean says:

      But Kate’s not doing anything. A member of her staff posted a tweet. That’s it.

    • susan m says:

      I know!
      So lazy that Kate.
      If this were Meghan’s gig, she’d be feeding polar bears, swimming with the penguins and staving off climate change while looking chic all the while!

      • Maremotrice says:

        @susan m: Are you joking? It would be highly irresponsible for Meghan to feed polar bears in the wild. Not that there are any in Antarctica. And what would flying across the world to swim with penguins achieve?

      • Jaded says:

        @Maremotrice — susan m was being funny. You sound trollish.

  10. Harper says:

    If I were Preet I would not want Kate’s slug energy attached to my endeavors.

  11. Quinn says:

    I keep reading trying to understand what Kate is a patron of here? One individual? How is she formally supporting Captain Preet? Harry went on the Walking with the Wounded Expedition.

    One thing these past few years have shown with the exception of Diana, Harry and Meghan is that most of the other royals especially William and Kate attach themselves to popular events and causes so they share the headlines off of other people’s hard work while they themselves do nothing.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      The question of how is she supporting this is just kinda left hanging out there for everyone to fill in the blanks. If you want to believe that Kate, your favorite, will be accompanying her at least part way, that’s just fine with The Firm.

    • Nic919 says:

      I would say William and Kate in particular do this. Even Sophie did a bike race to support the Duke of Edinburgh awards and she did recently visit a few countries in Africa, as did Anne.

      It’s Kate and William who are the outliers here by a long shot.

      • Becks1 says:

        I also think Sophie, Edward and Anne regularly attend fundraising events for their charities, which is something W&K rarely do.

      • Maremotrice says:

        @Nic919: Although you evidently can’t remember which African countries Sophie and Anne visited – presumably not all 56 of them?

  12. caitlin says:

    “It is an absolute privilege to have The Princess of Wales as the Patron.”
    How so? Is Kate helping to finance this endeavour? What kind of “work” will they dream up next?

  13. teecee says:

    I’ve been following Preet for a while and am a little disappointed she agreed to this, especially after she was so vocal about supporting the farmer protests in India earlier this year. Her beliefs are diametrically opposed to the royals’, but I guess just about everyone in the UK drinks the “royals are apolitical” kool-aid.

    • Roo says:

      If she’s still military, the Captain may have been pushed into it if the palace expressed interest in the patronage. An offer you can’t refuse, really.

  14. Pumpkin (Was Sofia) says:

    Good luck to Captain Chandi! Hope she’s successful!

  15. Eurydice says:

    Unless Kate is fundraising for this expedition or actively helping in some other way, then it’s just another way for her to horn in on someone else’s accomplishments.

  16. Cottage Cat says:

    ‘King Charles ” is a product of the barbaric system of “The Monarchy”. Weak, talentless individual who expects people to bow to him. I’d rather die than curtsey to him or Middleton

  17. jferber says:

    God, how I wish she would go to Antartica to explore.

  18. Ginger says:

    The only thing Kate will offer is manic grinning/laughing ( mostly at inappropriate times) and jazz hands. That’s it. That is all she brings to the table.

  19. Chantal says:

    She is awesome!

    “Chandi will also walk with the confidence that PKate is cheering her all the way”. Laughing so hard my stomach hurts! Pure comedy!

    Well damn. C-Rex is making it clear that Katty is going to work for her Ps title but what “work” is she going to do? Fundraising is out of the question and cheering for Chandi from one of their 4 residences shouldn’t be too hard but carries low visibility. Just in case, i hope they covered this in the Social Climbing for Dummies book! She should also pick up one on public speaking while she’s at it!

    Wishing Chandi the best of luck and for her sake, I hope Kat continues her business model of avoiding patronages. Potential donors might not support her under the mistaken belief that Kat and the royals are helping to fund her and/or fundraise for her.

  20. tamsin says:

    What a great inspiration, especially for women! Is Preet supported by any organizations that support this sort of individual endeavour? She’s obviously not a wounded warrior, but this would be a trek that Harry would normally help with through one of his organizations.

    • Nic919 says:

      This is the kind of thing a Patron normally does. Provide support for the cause. A phone call is really nothing.

      • tamsin says:

        That’s my point. Harry is an active patron and fundraises tirelessly for his patronages such as Sentebale and IG. His support, whatever kind it is, is evident in all he does. This seems to be one of the “smile and wave” thing, which is usual, I guess. Love the image of Kate cheering from one of her many couches posted by someone further up. Preet somehow managed her first expedition without Kate’s cheering though.

  21. Steph says:

    Wooo…. Good luck to Captain Preet Chandi. I hope they make a documentary about this. Even though getting to Antarctica is on my bucket list, this seems so miserable. I only want to visit the coast to see the penguins and the whales breeding. She’s going to go through the bare tundra. Just imagining it is triggering my depression.
    I would love to have a conversation with Chandi to ask her why this journey. I can think of several other expeditions that would be just as challenging and pull just as much strength and resilience from her but would be at least prettier. I would really love to know what attracted her to this one.

  22. Bonsai Mountain says:

    So a highly accomplished person of color is being used as a pawn to rehabilitate this mediocre white person’s image. Alright royal family, carry on!

  23. Harper says:

    I saw some royal rota tweet out about Kate taking time out of her two-week vacation for this! But according to the article, all KP did was write a statement on her behalf. I doubt she did anything other than text a thumbs up to her staff when they told her she was doing this and they were going to link it to “mental health”. What a scam.

  24. Emily_C says:

    Kate would do much better to take Girl Guides on some treks within the country. This kind of thing is so utterly out of reach for the vast majority of people, I don’t know how helpful it is.

  25. ML says:

    Gawker’s headline: Kate Middleton Supports Fellow Frigid woman. Nice summary

  26. Maremotrice says:

    I thought the record “first woman to cross Antarctica solo and unsupported” had already been achieved? See
    Aside from that, I’d be more impressed if this was going to achieve anything in terms of advancing scientific knowledge. Something tells me William will appoint Preet Chandi as an Earthshot ambassador alongside such scientific luminaries as, er, Shakira…