The Duchess of Cambridge has become the Joint President of the Scouts Association, the first woman to hold that role. She will serve alongside the Duke of Kent who has been President of Scouts UK for over four decades.
News of the Duchess’ new role came as she joined a Scout Group in north London on September 29th. Kate spent the morning with 12th Northolt Scout Group in west London, joining in with activities including toasting marshmallows over a camp fire.
As she took on the role of President, the Duchess of Cambridge said ”For many children and young people, The Scout Association plays a key role as they build relationships and develop the skills they need to succeed in later life. When I volunteered with the Scouts on Anglesey eight years ago, I was struck by the huge impact the organisation has on inspiring young people to support their communities and achieve their goals. I am delighted to be joining The Duke of Kent as Joint President of the Association and look forward to working with Scouts across the country as they strive to make a positive difference to our society.’
And the Duke of Kent gave a warm welcome to his new joint President, saying ‘‘The Scouts’ ethos of dedication, inclusivity, and lending a helping hand wherever one is needed resonates across the generations, and as such I am delighted to welcome The Duchess of Cambridge as Joint President, and to work together to continue that legacy.’’
The Duchess of Cambridge has already been a high profile supporter of the Scout Association, first teaming up with them eight years ago when she was living on Anglesey. Her new role will see her continue to support the work of the Association, which involves thousands of children and young people across the UK, and to oversee its Council which governs the organisation.
As she took up her role, the CEO of the Scouts, Matt Hyde, welcomed her involvement, adding ”we’re really pleased that HRH The Duchess of Cambridge is meeting Scout volunteers that have done so much to support young people during the pandemic. Scouting is more important than ever before, giving young people life skills, a sense of connection and belonging, while supporting communities in areas of deprivation disproportionately affected by COVID-19.’’
The Duchess of Cambridge is the first royal woman to take on such a high profile role with the Scouts Association in the UK since it was founded. Its first Royal President was the Duke of Connaught, son of Queen Victoria, who was followed by Henry, Duke of Gloucester, brother of King George VI. The Duke of Kent took on the role of President in 1975. The Queen is patron of the organisation.
The Scouts also enjoy royal support elsewhere in Europe with both King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg involved.