Explorer Sir David Hempleman-Adams has become the first person to be awarded Polar Medals by two monarchs for his expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Explorer is first person to receive Polar Medals from two British monarchs

RENOWNED explorer Sir David Hempleman-Adams has become the first person to be awarded Polar Medals by two monarchs for his continued expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic.

The 66-year-old was first awarded a Polar Medal by the late Queen Elizabeth II for services to the UK in the field of polar research up to 2012.

A second bar for his Polar Medal has now been awarded by HRH King Charles III for his work in the Arctic and Antarctic up to 2022.

“It is very special of course and it is obviously unique. Princess Anne said she had not come across two before,” he said following the ceremony at Windsor Castle with the Princess Royal.

“I started in adventure through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. I went on and did mountaineering and polar and have loved polar all my life.

“So I have got the late Duke of Edinburgh to thank for this.”

The Swindon-born climber became the first person to achieve the ‘Adventurer’s Grand Slam’ by climbing the highest peaks on all seven continents as well reaching both the North and South Pole. Whilst in the polar regions, he took part in medical studies on behaviour as a result of prolonged exposure to harsh environments.

“The tragedy of this is that on my first Polar Medal, I was going up to the Arctic Ocean,” he lamented.

“From my first Polar Medal to my second Polar Medal I have seen massive climate change which is, in that short time, tragic. Anyone else getting Polar Medals is going to see even faster change.”

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Twenty years ago, Sir David also became the the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an open–basket, hot–air balloon.

His exploits on the Atlantic expedition led him to conclude he was not afraid of ‘death by misadventure’.

“I have a feeling that when I do die, it will be doing something relatively safe,” he told the Sunday Telegraph after successfully making the crossing.

“In 25 years, I’ve never called out the rescue services and I’ve never made an insurance claim. I’d like that to go on my tombstone.”

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