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CoronavirusThe Wessexes

The Earl of Wessex speaks about The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Photo: Stephen Lock/I-Images

The Earl of Wessex gave an interview about The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme to Sky News earlier this week, talking about its importance during the pandemic, especially as young people need extra-curricular activities.

Speaking to Rhiannon Mills, Edward spoke about a wide range of educational subjects as schools are set to reopen in the United Kingdom in early March.

“We mind desperately about trying to help [students] catch up with their academic career, but at the end of the day, we’re talking about what can we give young people at this time that’s really going to help them in the future—and how are they going to be ready for the world. And that’s not just about academics,” Edward said.

“I think the role of the non-formal in this present climate is going to be even more important than ever before because it’s those skills and experiences which are going to be looked for.”

Prince Edward also gave an update on how his children, Louise and James, have adapted to home-schooling at Bagshot Park.

“The eldest one, Louise, she had her GCSEs interrupted last year, so we went through that whole pain of just having all of that suddenly taken away, and so she sort of struggles a bit with the online learning because she’d much prefer to be with everyone…

“My younger one frankly thinks being at home and online is fantastic.

“I have to say half term came at just the right time because it was very interesting the frustrations that were beginning to show – and I reckon we weren’t the only family to have experienced that.

“I count our blessings that we’re lucky where we are.”

And about how students have been coping during the pandemic and pivoting to an online schooling environment, he said, “For so many, their academic careers have been completely disrupted and thrown into chaos.

“All those who lost their exams—all the things that they’d been working towards—had gone and the longer-term impact is going to be immense.”

The Earl of Wessex took over representing The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as his father began to step back from royal duties. Given that his future title will be Duke of Edinburgh, it was a fitting choice to take over.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.