THERE aren’t many women who can say they’ve spent the night with Prince Harry, but a Worcester soldier can now lay claim to the unusual boast.
Major Kate Philp, of Knightwick, spent the time in the Royal’s company this week, although the surroundings were far from hospitable.
Both are preparing to take part in a four-week charity trip to the South Pole and, to acclimatise, were placed in a -35C ice chamber with 200-kilometre winds, along with other members of a five-strong team.
Major Philp, who is 35, lost part of her leg while on the front line in Afghanistan in 2008 when the armoured vehicle she was commanding was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
As a result of her injuries, the Iraq veteran had her left leg amputated below the knee, but after 16 months of rehab she was determined to return to work She says she hopes the South Pole Allied Challenge trek in the Antarctic will inspire anyone who is dealing with hardship to dare to try and says it is “better a moment of disappointment than a lifetime of regret”.
Prince Harry, who is patron of November’s challenge, is leading a team of injured British service personnel who will come up against teams from the USA and the Commonwealth.
Fellow members of the Royal’s team include lower-leg amputee Captain Guy Disney, arm amputee Captain Ibrar Ali, and double leg amputee Sergeant Duncan Slater.
They spent 24 hours in the ice facility at a technology company in Hinckley.
During their stay the team tested equipment, practiced their routine for the expedition and practiced making and breaking camp for the night while being subjected to the freezing temperatures and hurricane-force winds.
They exercised in two hour blocks, with ten minute rests.
They only consumed high energy snacks and hot drinks to try and replicate a typical Antarctic day.