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The Edinburghs

Prince Edward follows in his father’s footsteps for a series of special engagements in Germany and Czechia

The Duke of Edinburgh has traveled to Germany and the Czechia to celebrate the young people who have successfully completed the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme. 

The four-days visit began in Berlin on Monday, 22nd May, with a welcome by the British Ambassador to Germany, Jill Gillard, and a lunch at the British Embassy offered to members of the Bundestag. 

His Royal Highness then joined authorities involved with the Education sector, including the german minister of Education Bettina Stark-Watzinger, to host a meeting at Schulz am Schillerpark with young people who have taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award scheme. 

Throughout the visit, Prince Edward was told how the scheme is implemented in the school, and also paid a visit to the Waffle Stand, a project created by students working towards achieving their Award. 

The 59-year-old royal then moved to James-Simon-Galerie, where he presided over the awarding of the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, as well as presenting Klaus Vogel with the Founder’s Medal. Mr Vogel was the founder of the Duke of Edinburgh programme in Germany, and was the country’s National Director for the scheme between 1995 and 2020. 

The Prince ended his first day in Germany by signing the Golden Book of Berlin, which was also signed by King Charles and Queen Camilla during their recent State Visit to Germany in March. 

The next day, Prince Edward visited Alexander Haus – a space that aims to be transformed into a centre “for education and reconciliation”, according to the descendants of Alfred Alexander, the Jewish doctor who served as President of the Berlin Medical Association. 

There, the Duke met with staff and volunteers working towards this ultimate goal, as well as watching as some students took part in a workshop about literacy. The final act for the visit was the unveiling of a plaque commemorating the visit. 

It was then time for the Duke of Edinburgh to hop on a train and make the journey over to Prague, where, upon his arrival at Spandau Central Station, he was welcomed by the British Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Matthew Field. 

After laying flowers at the monuments dedicated to Sir Nicholas Winton and the Czech Kindertransport, Prince Edward moved to the Ambassador’s residence, where he attended a reception for young people taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme. 

On the third day of his tour, the Prince began his agenda with a meeting with President Petr Pavel at Prague Castle, before paying homage to his father at the Tree Alley of HRH Prince Philip, which features trees planted last year in memory of the founder of the scheme and previous holder of the Dukedom of Edinburgh. 

At the Alley, His Royal Highness met with participants in the scheme that took part in the tree planting, as well as being involved in environmental projects. 

It was then time to meet with members of the Czech DofE’s Youth Advisory Board at the Chamber of Deputies, before the Prince joined members of Parliament for a roundtable discussion on “non-formal education”, which is one of the main objectives of the scheme. 

The day was concluded with another awards ceremony, during which Prince Edward presented the certificates to all young people who have achieved a Gold Award over the past 2 years. 

The Duke’s final day began at the Youth Centre for award in Action, where the Duke met with young people currently participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award and some of the people who run the scheme in the Czech Republic.

The last event of the trip was a visit to the Operation Anthropoid Memorial and the Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral, where he once again laid flowers. The Prince then made his way back to United Kingdom. 

Prince Edward has been involved in various ways with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme ever since 1986, becoming a Trustee in the UK in 1988, establishing the International Special Projects Group in 1999, becoming a Trustee in the International Award in 2006, and becoming Chairman of the Trustees for the DofE International Awards Foundation in 2015. 

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme was founded by the late Prince Philip in 1956 with the aim of helping “young people build their confidence and develop key life skills in order to reach their full potential”.