Last week, The Duke of Edinburgh carried out a three-day visit to Turkey in his role as Patron of the The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.
Prince Edward became Patron of the DofE Award earlier this year, following The King granting his brother the Duke of Edinburgh title. The move also honoured the wishes of the late Elizabeth II and Prince Philip which were made public on Edward and Sophie’s wedding day in 1999.
We’ve taken a look at the highlights from Edward’s visit below.
On the first day of his visit, Edward visited Kabatas High School – one of the most prestigious educational institutions in Turkey.
During the visit, which lasted for approximately two hours, The Duke of Edinburgh saw the work being undertaken as part of the International DofE Award Program.
Edward spoke to students who are involved in the project, as well as watched a group of music students who put on a performance for the visit. The Royal also played table tennis with one of the students and heard about the school’s robotics team projects.
At the end of the visit, the Duke was presented with a gift containing photographs from Elizabeth II’s visit in 2008, including her signature in the guestbook. Edward was asked to sign the guestbook and took photographs with students and teachers on the school’s stairs.
Prince Edward is the second member of the Royal Family to visit Kabataş High School, after his mother.
Following the visit to the school, HRH attended a Gold Award ceremony at the British consulate to present 38 young people with the highest achievement as participants of the Award.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award was set up by Prince Philip in 1958 as a way to support students to enhance skills like teamwork and resilience outside of the classroom.
The second day saw The King’s youngest brother visit Basilica Cistern Museum for a dose of culture. The cistern, located close to the Hagia Sophia, was built in 542 AD by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I to supply the Great Palace of Constantinople with clean water. It is also home to a sculpture of Medusa.
Prince Edward was greeted by officials from the Istanbul city government and historical experts outside the museum. He was told about the working principles, and got to see the excavation work carried out during restoration of the Byzantine-era cistern learnt more about an Ottoman-era water gauge.
Lutgarde Vandeput, Head of the British Institute in Ankara, said the Duke visited the basilica ‘to see whether all these past practices, past water management, whether it could be of interest and of importance for present-day water management challenges.’
The British consul general in Istanbul, Kenan Poleo, also accompanied Edward during his visit.
On the final day of the Duke’s three day trip to Turkey, he travelled to Ankara. He visited the Hacettepe University, speaking to students who survived the recent earthquake and are working on projects on Low-Cost Housing. Prince Edward received a statue of the symbol of Hacettepe University from Professor Dr. Mehmet Cahit Guran.
As with many royal visits, he spent time with the President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, meeting at the Presidential Complex.
Part of this visit saw Edward lay a wreath at Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh of the United Kingdom, at the Presidential Complex. pic.twitter.com/3GId7lxPx2
— Republic of Türkiye Directorate of Communications (@Communications) September 27, 2023