The Countess of Wessex in Prague for DofE awards

The Countess of Wessex has been in Prague for two days, handing out Duke of Edinburgh Awards to young Czechs.

Sophie is a Global Ambassador of her father-in-law’s award scheme, for those aged 14-24.

Still taken from Program DofE live feed

Still taken from Program DofE live feed

At Duhovka High School, Prague, the Countess spoke with pupils and representatives of other schools and organisations, who were also participating in the International Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Jakub Vágner, a Czech traveller, has supported the International Award for a few years and said: ‘The future of not only our country, but of the entire world depends on today’s young people. Thanks to the DofE Award, they broaden their horizons, learn to be independent and realise that if they apply themselves in what they do, they can achieve anything.’

Mum-of-two Sophie also attended a garden party at the British Embassy in Prague, where she met the Czech President, and wives of men in the Armed Forces.

Later that evening, she attended a fundraising Gala Dinner at Lobkowicz Palace, Prague Castle. Unfortunately, there aren’t many pictures of her time in Prague.

On her second day (today), the Countess attended a breakfast meeting, in her role as Chairman of Women in Business Group. Successful local businesswomen discussed their careers with Sophie and how they thought it best young girls today are prepared for future careers, including a particular emphasis on out-of-school education.

Sophie later met with the Czech Minister for Education, and the two heard stories of four Czech DofE Award participants and holders. The minister, Marcel Chládek, explained why the government is supporting the the DofE International Award:

‘We are glad to show that by connecting the formal and non-formal education we can motivate people to life-long learning, personal as well as professional growth and mostly to continual civic engagement.’

The Countess is a patron of the London College of Fashion, and attended the World Fellowship and British Chamber of Commerce Fashion Events at two boutiques in the Republic’s capital. Here Sophie saw two designers’ new collections as well as some work of their students.

In the afternoon, Sophie attended a reception for those who have completed a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, the highest achievement of the course. The Countess handed out awards to those that had completed the relevant tasks and assignments in order to pass the certification; around 40 youngsters received their certificates from Sophie.

Tasks are separated into four areas: service, skills, adventurous journey and physical recreation. These can include long-distance hiking, community work, sailing and even playing an instrument. For information on how to participate in The Duke of Edinburgh Award, see here.

Photo: a still taken from Program DofE video: see here
With thanks to for information

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