Towards the end of this month, 50 young Manitobans are to receive their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards, marking their completion of a series of self-improvement challenges and courses designed to help them mature into confident, productive citizens of the Dominion.
Around 50,000 Canadians have since received the award after the first Canadian ceremony in 1964. The first ever Duke of Edinburgh Award ceremony was held in Britain in 1954. To help mark the occasion, the awards this year shall be presented by Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and his wife, Sophie the Countess of Wessex, on behalf of the Canadian Royal Family.
The visit was announced this Wednesday by Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister, with the couple expecting to touch down in Winnipeg come June 22nd.
“Manitobans have a long, proud relationship with members of the Royal Family,” Pallister said in a press release. “We are both delighted and honoured that the Earl and Countess of Wessex have chosen to include Mantioba in their visit to Canada.”
As well as presenting the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards to their recipients, the Earl and Countess will also be visiting the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada while staying within the province, and they are scheduled to have a private meeting with the Lieutenant Governor, Janice Fillmon, as well as Premier Pallister. During her visit, the Countess will also be visiting Deer Lodge Centre to mark its centennial of service to Canadian veterans and the people of Manitoba. The public has been invited to greet the Countess at the Lodge at 1:15pm. The award ceremony is to be held at the Museum.
The first royal visit to Manitoba was undertaken by the Prince Arthur and Princess Louise Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, back in 1890, where they too stopped in Winnipeg during a tour of Canada. Since then, the province has hosted a number of visits from Canada’s Royal Family, the most recent being a visit from Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall in 2014.