Princess Beatrice has spoken of her joy of scaling the summit of Mont Blanc, Western Europe's tallest peak.
In the latest issue of HELLO! magazine, Beatrice says: "The summit was like a dream. It was so overwhelming I began to cry with joy for making it to this magical world at the top of Europe."
The plucky Princess, who admits to having suffered a fit of "constant nervous giggles" when she first arrived for her adventure, was joined on her intrepid trip by Holly and Sam Branson, the son and daughter of Virgin tycoon Richard (who also did the climb), Sam's fiancée Isabella Calthorpe, Sam Richardson and Phil Nevin.
The six friends, who successfully ran the 2010 London marathon together dressed as a giant caterpillar, used the climb to launch their new charitable venture, Big Change.
This was no mean feat. Rising 4,810 metres above sea level, the magnificent mountain claims scores of lives each year.
In fact Holly reveals how her father comes perilously close to a serious accident during a training day.
"We were practising walking in our crampons and how to walk over crevasses in a safe way," reveals Holly.
"There were places where we had to jump holes that looked never-ending below.
At one point Dad's leg went through one of them. Fortunately it stopped at his knee and all was OK but he was very excited that he had fallen in a crevasse!!"
For Princess Beatrice, the exhilaration of having reached the top, combined with the altitude, made for an emotional descent.
"I was tired and the altitude brought my feelings to the surface," she says. "I broke down in tears and truly didn't know if I was going to get down.
The delight of making it to the bottom was so overwhelming that I couldn’t speak. I have never felt such joy and excitement of such a sense of achievement."
See the full exclusive story in HELLO! Magazine out now.
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