Prince William helped hand out Duke of Edinburgh’s Award gold standards to young people who’d achieved that level at Buckingham Palace on Thursday afternoon.
While greeting some of the guests – which numbered over 3,000 throughout the day – William told them that his lack of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was a sore subject between him and his grandfather, who founded the award scheme in 1956.
“I hope you are proud of what you have done, I know it is not easy,” William told some guests.
Prince William attended the award ceremony with his uncle, Prince Edward, and cousin, Princess Eugenie. Earlier that morning, Edward was joined by his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, and niece, Princess Beatrice to hand out awards.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is “about personal challenge and development and is adaptable according to each participant’s interests and abilities,” per its official website. The award scheme is available in over 140 countries, and in the 2017/18 year, 275,988 young people in the UK began their award.
While William did not complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, did.
In a documentary from 2016, When Philip Met Prince Philip: 60 Years of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Kate is seen chatting with a group of Olympians who all achieved the award.
“I can remember trying to cook bacon in the soaking wet,” Kate tells them. “Everything was just sopping, and I was trying to cook bacon. I remember saying, ‘You know what, I think we’re just going to have plain sandwiches. Bread, basic bread and butter.’”
Kate received her gold award in the mid-to-late ‘90s in a ceremony at St James’s Palace.
Prince Edward and Sophie have become more involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as Prince Philip has retired from his royal duties, and Edward routinely travels around the world promoting the award in his role as trustee of the award.