Prince Philip attended his 500th Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award presentation at St James’s Palace on Thursday.
The Duke founded the programme 57 years ago in able to support young people between the ages of 14 and 24. Over eight million people have taken part across the world and 900,000 people are currently participating in the award.
Among the 200,000 people to have a gold award is the Duchess of Cambridge who completed hers at Marlborough College. Catherine once would not have been able to get this award as originally the Duke of Edinburgh Award was just for boys. Even when girls were allowed to join, they did not participate in the physical activities.
Philip’s youngest son, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, is also a gold award holder and is now a trustee of the programme. Today, the Earl praised his father saying “for all my father’s modesty and self-effacement, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a phenomenal success. It has stood the test of time being more popular, relevant and valuable than ever before, not just in Great Britain, but all over the world”.
Aged 92, Prince Philip still keeps a keen interest in the programme. Speaking in 2011 he said “they choose the things they want to do and very often they think that it might interest them but nearly always it is a new experience”.
19 year old Cameron Hughes was one of the hard working young people who got his award today at St James’s Palace. He told me:
“it was a brilliant experience to visit St James’ Palace and receive my reward from such inspiring people, and it was a fitting conclusion for all the young people who had put lots of hard work and dedication into completing their gold award. It was an honour to meet the duke, and the fact that it was his 500th presentation made it an extra special day for everyone involved. I had a very enjoyable and memorable day and I would recommend taking part in the gold award to any young person as it is very worthwhile”.
If you are interested in participating in the Duke of Edinburgh award or simply want to find out more, just click here