Ben Fogle has sent his "warmest wishes" to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, after he missed the royal wedding while on Mount Everest. The 44-year-old, who successfully summited the mountain last week, joked to HELLO!: "Even up Everest I'll probably hear the cheers of the crowds!"
The broadcaster had a particularly good reason for missing the historic event, as he was making his way back down Everest after conquering the mountain only days earlier. Ben, who spent nearly two months away from his family during the climb, was spurred on to the summit by the memory of his son Willem, who was delivered stillborn in 2014. "We experienced a miscarriage at 13 weeks and then a few years later we lost our son Willem at 30 weeks. I held him in my arms and had to organise his funeral," he said. "It was the hardest thing I have been through but it made us stronger. Marina and I have become patrons of Child Bereavement UK and Marina works closely with Tommy's. One of the reasons I have taken on the challenge of Everest is to live my life with no regrets for Willem."
Ben Fogle summited Everest on 16 May
It is a challenge he successfully completed after almost two years of training alongside close friend and Olympian Victoria Pendleton, who unfortunately had to cut the trip short on medical advice due to struggling with oxygen deficiency. "I have been training for nearly two years now. Victoria Pendleton, Kenton Cool and I have been to Bolivia, Switzerland, and Nepal in preparation," Ben said. "We have also been training at the high altitude medical facility in London with Dr Sundeep Dhillon."
The adventurer made some changes to his diet too, including cutting down on his meat consumption. "I have found myself increasingly moving away from meat. It hasn't been so much a conscious choice as an organic change. My wife Marina likes salad and fish and I have reduced my meat consumption to just three times a week. It wouldn't take much to go vegetarian and I may well make that decision soon," Ben explained.
Ben trained for almost two years ahead of the challenge
Not only did Ben's diet changes aid his training, but also reduced his carbon footprint too, something he is focused on as an advocate for sustainable living. "Using the Quorn Sustainability Calculator, this means per week I save 8.48 kgCO₂e, the carbon equivalent of boiling a kettle 1,500 times, and 5,337 litres of water, the equivalent of one person's water use for a whole month."
And if you too want to live more sustainably, Ben has a few tips on where to begin. "It is easy to make small steps. I am far from perfect but I’d like to think it all adds up," he said. "There are the obvious things like switching off lights and taps but you could also reduce your meat consumption. Even just once a week."
Ben has teamed up with Quorn for a new video
So now he's successfully climbed Everest, what does Ben have planned now to top it? Speaking to HELLO! ahead of the climb, Ben said he felt the experience would "cap my thirst for great adventure", and he wants to focus on family life instead. "That doesn't mean I'll hang up my boots and rucksack but I want to enjoy family life. Maybe a family sabbatical. I'd love to take them to the North Pole and Mongolia."