Earlier last week, The Earl of Wessex attended a 4×4 challenge day at Eastnor Castle, Herefordshire.
The day formed part of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, supported by Jaguar Land Rover, and Prince Edward, as a Trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, attended to support the cause.
The aim of the challenge day was to combine team building and community spirit, with extreme and physical activities, like 4×4 driving. The Duke of Edinburgh Award, for 14-24 year-olds, includes sections in Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition, that need to be completed in order to receive the award. A Residential section is also added to form part of the Gold Award.
The driving strand of the challenge day was on 30 mile long track through the Castle’s grounds, where some Land Rover vehicles were tested. The 50-year-old Prince also joined in, and looked happy behind the wheel of a red 4×4. The 5,000 acre grounds have been used for half a century by Land Rover for testing vehicles, and Eastnor regularly holds day courses where people can test run 4x4s.
James Hervey-Bathurst, owner of Eastnor Castle, said to The Hereford Times: “We were delighted to have The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award at Eastnor”. He continued by saying: “The guests were an impressive group and heavily committed to the award. They were obviously having a good time facing the challenges we were able to lay on for them. We hope they will come back”.
Edward regularly attends such events, having been closely linked with DofE, as it is often called, since he completed his own Gold Award in 1986. Earlier this month, The Earl and Countess of Wessex visited Jamaica to promote the Duke of Edinburgh International Award, as Edward is slowly taking over the reigns of leading the Award scheme from Prince Philip, who turns 93 in June.
Prince Edward is a Trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, a position which he has held since 1987, and became a Trustee for the UK Award a year later. The Earl has held another position, Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award International Council, since 1992. The Council is responsible for the development and management of the Award worldwide.
It is expected that when both of his parents have passed away, Edward will receive the title ‘The Duke of Edinburgh’, so that he may carry on his father’s Award.