EXPLORER David Hempleman Adams is no stranger to awards but his latest for his work in the Polar regions is better than a knighthood, he said.

The 57-year-old was at Buckingham Palace for a special ceremony where he was presented with a Polar Medal by Prince William yesterday.

In 1998 Swindon-born Hempleman-Adams became the first person in history to reach the geographic and magnetic North and South Poles as well as climb the highest peaks in all seven continents.

And during the past decades he has visited the polar regions 30 times.

His three daughters, who joined him at Buckingham Palace, have also followed in their father’s footsteps with the eldest Alicia, 24, flying to the North Pole, aged just eight, to pick up her father after one of his adventures.

Camilla, 21, became the youngest person to ski to the North Pole aged just 15 and a few years ago Amelia, 18, became the youngest person to ski to the South Pole aged 16.

The adventurer said: “It was very special and of all the things I’ve ever had this is the one for me. “The Polar Medal is given by your peer group and the committee is a huge secret. They are extremely rare.

“If I could choose a knighthood or the Polar Medal I’d choose this.

“It makes all the absences worthwhile and I dedicate it to my wife Claire.

“It might be time to slow down because trying to keep up with my daughters is hard work – they are beginning to overtake me.”