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News Story - Royal Visit to British Antarctic Survey's Rothera Research Station, Antarctica

Date: 16 Jan 2007

Issued on 15 January 2007

As part of a fact-finding trip to British Antarctic Territory HRH the Princess Royal visited  British Antarctic Survey's (BAS) Rothera Research Station.

During the two-day visit she had an opportunity to see first-hand the world-leading research carried out by British scientists living and working in Antarctica. BAS Director, Professor Chris Rapley CBE, introduce d the Princess to around 100 science and support staff as well as briefing her on the importance of Antarctica's role in global environmental issues such as climate change and ozone depletion.

The Royal visit took place on the eve of International Polar Year (2007-08) - 50 years on from International Geophysical Year (1957-58) when, her father, the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Antarctic Peninsula.

HRH then, in her capacity as Patron of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, joined  the Royal Navy's ice patrol vessel HMS Endurance to visit a number of the historic British sites in the Antarctic Peninsula area to inspect conservation work being undertaken by the Trust.

Note: The visit was being organised by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Polar Regions Unit.

Rothera Base Commander Steve Hinde shows the Princess and Tim Laurence areas of interest around the Point.

The Princess enjoys the fabulous Antarctic scenery.

Air mechanic Dick Symon explains the logistics involved to fly aircraft to and within Antarctica. British Antarctic Survey has a fleet of five aircraft - one Dash 7 and four Twin Otters. The Princess flew on the Dash 7 to Rothera from Stanley in the Falkland Islands.

On arrival at Rothera the Princess is given a tour of the local area around Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula. She and her husband, Rear Admiral Tim Laurence enjoy a walk around the Point, which overlooks many icebergs and glaciers.