The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Gold Award Presentations

  March 27, 2009 at 6:28 am by

Yesterday, I had the pleasant task of helping at Gold Award Presentations in St. Jamess Palace in London.

The Morning Presentation was attended by His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness presented over 350 young people with their Gold Awards and spoke to them about their wonderful achievement. The Duke of Edinburgh was assisted in presenting the Awards by television and sporting world personalities and other noteworthy individuals including the High Sheriff of West Sussex.

The 320 young people invited to the Afternoon Presentation had the honour of meeting His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex. Prince Edward chatted to all of the Gold Award recipients and to many of their parents and other specially invited guests. The Earl also had some assistance from celebrities including Mr. Bill Turnbull from BBC Breakfast.

I was assigned some of these special guests and took them on a tour of the State Apartments before the Presentation began. We toured The Throne Room, Entrée Room, Queen Anne Room, Banqueting Room and The Picture Gallery. We also visited The Guard Room from which The Duke of Windsor and Mrs. Simpson had watched as Garter King of Arms proclaimed him Edward VIII, King of Great Britain, Ireland, The British Dominions beyond the seas and Emperor of India at the start of his short reign.

It was great fun and a wonderful experience to be “behind the scenes” at a Royal occasion such as this. The presentations are a wonderful way for The Duke of Edinburgh (Founder and Patron) and The Earl of Wessex (trustee) of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to meet and congratulate the Gold Award recipients on achieving this very special Award.

St. James’s Palace is not open for public admission; therefore it is unique experience for those invited to Gold Award Presentations to see around this most interesting Palace. St. James’s Palace remains the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen, Ambassadors are accredited to The Court of St. James’s and it is here that the Accession of the Sovereign is Proclaimed and The Accession Council meet. The Queen and other members of the Royal Family continue to use the Palace to hold receptions, dinners and meetings often for Charities which Her Majesty or Their Royal Highnesses have special connections with.

Gold Award Presentations are also held in The Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh during Holyrood Week early in July each year, Windsor Castle in The Quadrangle and in Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. Every few years there is also an Afternoon Party in The Garden of Buckingham Palace.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was founded by The Prince Philip in 1956 and since then over 1.2 million young people have achieved their Gold Award. The DofE operates in over 126 countries (either as DofE International or with a partner). To find out more about the Award and how to become involved either as a young person or as a helper please visit The Award website here.

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