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British RoyalsThe Edinburghs

The Earl of Wessex heads to Romania for key Duke of Edinburgh Awards Forum

The Earl of Wessex is set to chair the 14th Forum for the Duke of Edinburgh International Award, which will take place in Romania. 

The forum was formally opened on Tuesday, 11 October, and will last for the next four days. His Royal Highness arrived in Easter Europe on Monday and was scheduled to deliver a speech for the opening ceremony. 

The forum takes place every three years, meaning there have been no scheduling issues with travelling restrictions for health safety over the past two years. 

The project was kickstarted by the late Duke of Edinburgh in the autumn of 1954 when post-war times meant that the country’s youth needed extra support. 

Since then, the scheme has become a worldwide network of organisations and international branches that reach far and wide for the youth of the whole globe. 

Currently, the programme is offered in more than 130 countries and is based on three main sectors: Volunteering, Physical and Skills and Expedition. For the gold medals only, there is a fourth domain, Residential, which can bring participants a medal. 

The Earl of Wessex, currently serving as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the International Foundation and as a Trustee for the UK Awards scheme, received his Gold Award in 1986 and has been increasingly involved in the organisation since. 

The Countess of Wessex, who serves as a Global Ambassador for the International Foundation and as the Chair for the Women in Business Committee, completed her Diamond Challenge in 2016, cycling from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace in London and raising more than £100,000 in the process. 

The Earl of Wessex will chair the entire four-day forum, which is taking place in the Cluj Napoca region, centre-west of Romania. The event will bring together “international leaders” to “discuss and plan the future growth of the Award worldwide,” according to their website. 

The theme for this year’s conference is “Supporting the infinite potential of young people,” indicating that the main focus of the discussions will be how to equip today’s youth to best face the challenges of the contemporary world. 

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