Prince William and brother Prince Harry are mourning the loss of friend and explorer, Henry Worsley, who has passed away following his attempt at crossing the Antarctic alone.
Kensington Palace announced the death of the brothers’ 55-year-old friend this morning, after he suffered organ failure, following surgery for peritonitis in Chile.
Henry Worsley was just 30 miles short of completing the expedition – to cross the Antarctic landmass solo without support – which was to raise money for the Endeavour Fund, part of William, Kate and Harry’s Royal Foundation.
The explorer and friend to the Princes was attempting to recreate Ernest Shackleton’s failed journey of 1916 to raise money for the charity; The Duke of Cambridge was patron of the expedition.
Arriving in November, Worsley began the 1,100 mile trek across the southern landmass, pulling his tent and supplies on a sled. He spent 71 days in temperatures as low as -44c before he was struck down by peritonitis and air-lifted to Chile for surgery.
His wife, Joanna, flew to his side following the infection of the lining of his stomach; she was with him when he died.
Worsley, a former Army officer, was descended from Frank Worsley, the captain of Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, with the famous explorer a hero of his.
The Duke of Cambridge rang Worsley, 55, at Christmas to wish him well and commented on the ‘cracking job’ he was doing.
Currently, Worsley’s fundraising stands at over £106,000 meaning he exceeded his target.
William and Harry released a statement this morning about Henry’s death: “Harry and I are very sad to hear of the loss of Henry Worsley. He was a man who showed great courage and determination and we are incredibly proud to be associated with him.
“Even after retiring from the Army, Henry continued to show selfless commitment to his fellow servicemen and women, by undertaking this extraordinary Shackleton solo expedition on their behalf.
“We have lost a friend, but he will remain a source of inspiration to us all, especially to those who will benefit from his support to the Endeavour Fund.
“We will now make sure that his family receive the support they need at this terribly difficult time.”
Mrs Worsley spoke of the family’s ‘heartbreak’ at the loss of Henry, and thanked those who supported Henry on his expedition.