18 JANUARY 2007

As Princess Anne returned to Antarctica this week - she was last there visiting Scott and Shackleton's bases in February 2002 - even the freezing temperatures didn't seem to dampen her enthusiasm for the beautiful wilderness.

The Princess Royal flew from the Falklands to the British base at Rothera in the Antarctic on Sunday evening with her husband Rear Admiral Timothy Lawrence. The pair - who are there to see at first hand the work of British scientists, as well as visit a US scientific station and a Ukrainian research base - listened intently as they were shown around.

In her capacity as patron of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, Anne will also be visiting some of the UK’s historical sites in the British Antarctic Territory. These include the former British base at Port Lockroy - the only historic site in Antarctica to be operated as a living museum.

From Antarctica the Princess and her husband will move on to Chile, where they will wind up their eight-day tour with a "goodwill visit", travelling north through the country and meeting the country's president.

Photo: ©
Gazing out across the frozen terrain, Anne takes a moment to contemplate the awesome beauty of the inhospitable landscapePhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
Wrapped up warm against the -30 degree chill, the Princess Royal and her husband listen intently as a scientist shows her around the basePhoto: © Rex
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