Today, The Duke of Cambridge invited Henry Worsley to a private reception at Kensington Palace where he presented the Polar Explorer with a Union Flag, an Endeavour Fund flag and a photograph of Shackleton’s vessel, The Endurance stuck in the Antarctic Ice 100 years ago. The Union Flag was an exact replica of the flag that Shackleton was presented by George V and took on his ill-fated voyage crafted then and now by Gieves & Hawkes in fine silk – making it very durable and very light weight.
The Duke of Cambridge is the Patron of Henry’s third Antarctic expedition that will see him to attempt to undertake Sir Ernest Shackleton’s unfinished journey to the South Pole from the Weddell Sea.
Shackleton’s hopes of becoming the first team to cross the Antarctic Continent were crushed when his ship Endurance was trapped and sunk by pack ice leaving his team stranded and resulting in a heroic and successful rescue conducted by Shackleton himself. A century later Henry Worsley will attempt to recreate the majority this journey, which remains untraveled to this day.
Henry Worsley said: “This unique solo expedition will finally write the end of a part-finished chapter and will serve as a reminder and celebration of a famous polar episode that cemented reputations for leadership, courage and heroism.”
Henry departs for the southernmost tip of Chile tomorrow and then on to Union Glacier, his Antarctic logistics base. As soon as the weather allows, he will fly onwards to his start point at Gould Bay – the closest accessible point to Shackleton’s intended start at Vahsel Bay on the edge of the Weddell Sea.
Henry’s journey to the South Pole will closely follow the route that Shackleton would have followed which takes him up a steep climb on to the polar plateau and then onto Pole, a journey that should take him around 50 days including the need to shuttle his equipment back-and-forth on some of the steeper sections.
Henry will then head away from the Pole towards the coast; Shackleton’s intended route through the Transantarctic Range was to have used the Beardmore Glacier but instead Henry will make the first solo descent of the Shackleton glacier – appropriate for the centenary celebration. We look forward to welcoming Henry home in February.
After a military career spanning four decades, Henry is undertaking this incredible adventure in memory of his brothers-in-arms that have become wounded or injured during their service in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. As a result, Henry is giving all proceeds donated to this challenge to the Endeavour Fund.
You can follow this amazing feat of human endurance: