Polar explorer Felicity Aston joins Queen for lunch at palace

The Queen has been joined by explorer Felicity Aston for a private lunch in Buckingham Palace.

The British polar adventurer became the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica in 2012.

Her 1,085-mile journey took 59 days and earned her a place in the Guinness World Records book.

The former Antarctic scientist was awarded an MBE and the Queen’s Polar Medal in 2015.

Other guests dining with the monarch on Wednesday in the 1844 Room included architect Sir David Adjaye and Jane Lush, deputy chair of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta).

Sir David Adjaye
Sir David Adjaye

Sir David’s high-profile projects include the Moscow School of Management in Russia, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture and History in Washington DC and the Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford.

Ms Lush, who also served as chair of Bafta from 2016-18, is the former controller of BBC entertainment and commissioned Strictly Come Dancing, The Apprentice, The Weakest Link, Doctors and Bargain Hunt among others.

Jane Lush
Jane Lush

The other lunch guests were Judith McNicol, director of the National Railway Museum; vice-admiral Timothy Fraser, chief of joint operations; Peter Glenser, chairman of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation; Willie Cameron, director of Highlands & Islands Tourism; and Anthony Joss from Welsh Livestock Welfare.

The Queen’s son the Duke of York was also present.

Since 1956, the Queen has given luncheon parties at the palace to meet people from different walks of life.

The Duke of Edinburgh used to join the Queen at the events before his retirement in 2017.

Guests also usually gather with the monarch for drinks beforehand and for coffee in the 18th Century Room afterwards.