Philip celebrates 60th Anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh Award

During his recent trip to Scotland with The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh found time to join in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the award that bears his name.

The Duke of Edinburgh unveil's an Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust memorial marker at Smith's Lawn, Windsor Great Park. Picture by i-Images

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh celebrated the 60th birthday of his eponymous award, the DofE award. Picture by i-Images

Barry Fisher, who is Director of the DofE in Scotland welcomed the Prince and said: “For many young people being able to push yourself past boundaries and overcome challenges is an essential part of personal development – inspiring confidence, skills and knowledge. That’s what The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is all about.”

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme was started by the Duke on 1st September 1956 and was for boys between 14-18. In the first year, about 7,000 boys went for one of the awards bronze, silver and gold that get progressively harder and more demanding.

Philip got speaking to some of the 10,281 Gold Award recipients from this last year in Scotland at a garden reception at Holyroodhouse. The Prince, who is patron of the organisation, also spent time with staff from The Duke of Edinburgh scheme in Scotland.

Over the 60 years since 1956, the award now encompasses boys and girls between 14 and 25 on broadly similar programmes. It is thought over 300,000 people across the world have benefited from the award, although it has many different names to make it appropriate for the country in question.

However, for those over 25, there is a special award for the Diamond Jubilee of the scheme, the Diamond Challenge. This is a one-off initiative for people of all ages, to leave their comfort zone behind fulfil a challenge that they have always wanted to do and raise £60 through sponsorship for the DofE. Whether it is parachuting from a mile high or speaking mandarin – you set your goal.

It is this challenge that Sophie, Countess of Wessex has taken on. She is to cycle 445 miles from Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, to Buckingham Palace in London for the award. The Countess supports her father-in-law as a trustee of the international version of the award.

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