The Princess of Wales was in casual separates today for a visit to Landau Forte College in Derby. Richard Palmer of The Express shared a video of the Princess arriving at the school.
The Princess of Wales is at Landau Forte College in Derby. pic.twitter.com/suZvdV2jMw
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) February 8, 2023
She was there to connect with Captain Preet Chandi MBE, also known as Polar Preet.
More from Stephanie Petit’s People article.
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.
Here is a quick video as the Princess greeted the Captain, a British Army medical officer, who covered 922 miles in 70 days and 16 hours.
The Princess of Wales hugs Captain Preet Chandi as they meet at Landau Forte College Derby. Preet broke the world record for the furthest unsupported solo Polar expedition last month – the Princess was Patron of the expedition. pic.twitter.com/9VGTC6UByh
— Lizzie Robinson (@LizzieITV) February 8, 2023
Another view as the Princess greeted Captain Chandi.
The Army Medical officer joined the Army Reserves when she was 19. She says, “Aged 27 I decided to join the Regular Army and I have not looked back since.” Captain Chandi is based in Buckinghamshire, where she works as a physiotherapist at a regional rehabilitation unit.
The Daily Mirror with more on the expedition.
During her inspiring and grueling trip, which lasted for 70 days and 16 hours, she crossed Antarctica in the direction of the South Pole, walking 922 miles through temperatures as low as -30°C and wind speeds of 60mph.
To complete the expedition, she skied for 13 to 15 hours a day, pulling a sled weighing 120kg.
On her website, Captain Chandi wrote about why she undertook the expedition, saying, “This journey aims to inspire future generations in achieving whatever they desire and encourage others to push their boundaries.”
An update from January 9.
And here is a Tweet from the British Army that the Captain retweeted.
The Princess spoke to students about the Captain’s accomplishments. More from Robert Jobson’s Evening Standard story.
In the school theatre, watched by female pupils invited into hear inspirational talks from the two women, the Princess hailed Captain Chandi’s endurance feat as an example of the sort of resilience, mental toughness, that the girls would all need in life.
“She’s been a huge inspiration, I’m sure, to all of you and certainly to me,” she said.
“I really hope it inspires you all to believe in yourselves, to push your boundaries, and to really work on your own resilience because there are such strong messages that help support our emotional and mental wellbeing.”
This was the first of what will be many school visits for the Captain. The Daily Mail has more in this piece.
The visit to Landau Forte College in Capt Chandi’s hometown kicks off the Army officer’s UK-wide tour of schools, during which she will share her story with the next generation.
During today’s outing, Capt Chandi, dubbed ‘Polar Preet’, made a speech to students about her expedition and was joined by Kate in presenting an award to Simrat Soggi, one of the winners of the officer’s national school logo competition.
During the visit, the Captain spoke about her training for the expedition, which included pulling tires to simulate pulling a sled.
The Princess decided to give it a go.
We return to The Evening Standard piece.
She was fit enough, however, to supervise Kate and some of the pupils trying out her tyre-pulling training regime. “Shall we let the Princess of Wales have a go first?” she asked the pupils to their delight.
Kate pulled the tyres across the floor easily, showing the pupils how it was done. “She seemed great,” Captain Chandi said afterwards after some of the girls had taken a turn.
The tires weighed 44lb each.
The Mail reports the Princess said, “I need to do some training,” during the exercise.
The pair also spent time with Year 11 and Year 13 students and spoke about “the importance of building resilience to cope with life,” per The Evening Standard.
Now for our look at what Kate wore today.
She wore a new blazer by Zara, the Double-Breasted Textured Weave Jacket (
$29.90 on the US site in ‘ecru,’ the color worn today). UPDATE: The blazer is now $99.99, with thanks to Bonnie for the heads-up on the price.
It is made of a nubby cotton/acrylic/poly blend fabric with a fitted silhouette, flap pockets, peaked lapels, and embossed gold buttons.
Thank you to Carly of Kate Middleton Style for the speedy blazer ID. The Princess owns similar Zara designs in red (seen at a June 2021 football match and again during a 2022 visit to Denmark)and apple green (worn for a 2021 St. Patrick’s Day greeting).
Beneath the jacket, the Princess wore an ivory knit top. Middleton Maven suggests it is by Scottish brand Kiltane, the Cashmere Crew Neck Jumper ($120) in soft white. The piece is 100% cashmere with ribbing at the collar, cuff, and hem.
A closer look at the details.
The Princess wore a pair of navy trousers I do not recognize; I will update the post if they are identified. She also had on the UFO belt we have seen many times.
It looked like the Princess brought back the Veja +NET SUSTAIN Esplar Sneakers ($140) first worn back in May 2021 during a visit to Scotland. We show the shoes at Net-a-Porter, but they are also available at Nordstrom($140), at Bergdorf Goodman ($150), and at Veja ($169).
It appears we have a solution for a pair of UFO earrings. With thanks to Kristin Contino of Page Six Style, the Princess’s earrings appear to be the Pearl & Disc Hoop Earrings ($12) by royal favorite Accessorize. The earrings were worn for a December tree planting at Westminster Abbey as well as a promotional video for the Christmas Carol Concert at the Abbey.
The earrings are described as “Crafted in a twisted huggie hoop profile, these earrings feature both a molten coin and pearl charm that hangs off the hoop.”
While I was traveling last week, a few more videos and photos with the Princess of Wales were released, some in support of the Shaping Us initiative and others tied to Children’s Mental Health Week. Below, a photo released to mark the start of Children’s Mental Health Week, which runs from February 6 -12.
In the photos, the Princess is seen with primary school students at St. John’s Primary School in Bethnal Green. Place2Be, the children’s mental health charity, manages the weeklong awareness effort. The Princess is Place2Be’s royal patron and has supported the weeklong event since it launched in 2015.
This year’s theme for the week is “Let’s Connect,” encouraging children (and adults) to look at how meaningful connections can be made. The Princess and students are shown as they work on making paperchains, an activity helping children feel connected to the people and things they care about.
A 2-minute video supporting Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week was also released. In the video, you can hear the Princess speaking with students about the importance of connecting with others. One pupil told the Princess, “Connecting releases our emotions to other people that we care about.” Here is the video.
The Princess also speaks about the importance of “…giving children the skills that they need for life and focusing on their social and emotional development.”
It was initially thought the knit piece was by ARKET, a division of H&M. But there were subtle differences between the piece worn by the Duchess (at the time) and the ARKET sweater, so it remains a UFO. Her trousers look like they could be the Frieda Cigarette style from LK Bennett, but we didn’t see enough of them in the video to state that with 100% confidence. In the video, the Princess wore her Alia Triangular Hoops (£79) by Spells of Love and what looks like her Anderson Croc-Effect Leather Belt ($160).
Last week, as part of the Shaping Us launch, a video was released featuring a conversation between the Princess and Capital FM radio host Roman Kemp.
More from this Hello story
Roman, the son of Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp, has previously spoken candidly about his mental health struggles after the death of his best friend, and Capital FM producer, Joe Lyons.
In 2021, he presented a BBC Three documentary looking at the mental health crisis affecting young men and revealed he had considered taking his own life after battling depression for more than a decade.
This People piece offers more on the conversation.
In a new video released Friday, Princess Kate and the Capital Breakfast presenter walked and talked in the countryside of Hertfordshire, England, where Kemp said that the current cost of living crisis adds another level of stress.
“All you have to do is look around, especially, you know, at the country, and see people are not just struggling with raising kids, they’re struggling with just putting a roof above their heads, to be able to heat their house,” the 30-year-old radio host and mental health advocate said. “So, all of those things can come into play.”
“Yes, absolutely,” Princess Kate agreed. “And this is the thing, is that every family is different. The pressures we face are all different, whilst raising the importance of early childhood. This isn’t about putting extra pressure on families. It’s actually saying they need the support and help reprioritizing family life, home life and all that it takes in raising children today because it is tough.”
Here is a quick clip from the video.
A big part of #ShapingUs is talking about our early years, our experiences and what we can all do to help shape happier, healthier lives.
— The Prince and Princess of Wales (@KensingtonRoyal) February 3, 2023
And from The Daily Mail’s coverage.
Explaining why she wanted Roman to be part of the campaign, she added: ‘I loved the documentary and the conversations you had with the individuals and the fact that those relationships come out so strongly. It was really powerful.’
When asked what he had learned while filming his documentary, Roman said: ‘If we’re really going to make a difference here, we’re going to have to go younger.
‘And I think that’s why I think the work you’re doing is fantastic because that’s who we need to be targeting.’
Many readers will recognize pieces in the ensemble, including the jacket, although it’s been years since we have seen it: the Darwin Jacket in chocolate brown sheepskin is by LK Bennett. We first saw the Duchess of Cambridge wearing it as she watched Prince William play football on Christmas Eve 2011 (I do not have any photos from that event). It was worn again when the Duchess did some shopping in February 2012 and again in Switzerland in March 2013. The retailer described the jacket as “a super sexy shearling jacket and one of the most beautiful pieces of the season….the full collar and cuffs with exposed shearling combined with a nipped waist make this a must-have.” The Princess also wears her Holland Cooper Fair Isle sweater (£179) and Blundstone Chelsea Boots ($229) in the video.
- The Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week site is here; an activity page for making paperchains is here; Place2Be’s site is here; the organization’s Facebook page is here and its Instagram page is here.
- The Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood site is here; the Shaping Us microsite is here; a new Instagram page for the Early Childhood Centre is here; the Centre’s Twitter feed is here.
Here is the Royal Family Channel’s video from today’s engagement.
The entire conversation with Roman Kemp.