Duke of Edinburgh Award celebrated with service at Westminster Abbey

Prince Philip’s Duke of Edinburgh Award was celebrated at Westminster Abbey today, with a Service of Thanksgiving to mark its 60 years in existence. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were joined by The Earl and Countess of Wessex for the occasion.


2000 guests joined the Royals in the abbey, to hear about the amazing impact of the award, including Philip Schofield, Paralympian  Hannah Cockroft and soprano Laura Wright, all of whom contributed to the service.

DofE, as the award is often referred to, was founded 60 years ago by The Duke of Edinburgh. Philip’s former headmaster at Gordonstoun, Kurt Hahn, thought that everyone had more courage, strength and compassion than we would ever believe, and wanted the Duke to further encourage this.

Thus, the award was born, bearing Philip’s name, for 14-24 year olds. It is now widely recognised as the world’s leading achievement award for young people and has helped to transform the lives of millions of people around the world through service, skills, physical recreation and adventurous journey.

In its Diamond Anniversary year, the scheme has set out an aim: to transform two million more young lives by 2020. The foreword for the service was written by Prince Philip himself: “The growth of the scheme owes everything to the untold numbers of volunteers who have given their time and enthusiasm to bring its benefits to a constantly growing number of young people all over the world.”

The Queen and Prince Philip arrive at Westminster Abbey to celebrate The Duke of Edinburgh Award (@RoyalFamily)

The Queen and Prince Philip arrive at Westminster Abbey to celebrate The Duke of Edinburgh Award (@RoyalFamily)

DofE is obtainable for young people in 140 countries, many in the Commonwealth. Prince Edward and Sophie are ambassadors for the scheme. It is also thought that after the passing of both The Queen and Philip, the Dukedom will  be passed onto Edward so that he may continue the award.

The Earl of Wessex gave an address, sharing success stories of those who have completed DofE, as well as giving praise for his father’s work:

“None of the stories I’ve told are unfamiliar to our Founder and Patron, however, as probably the most self-effacing and modest person I know, you would never dream of taking the slightest credit for any one of them,” Edward explained.

“Yet they all know, whether they come from a traveller’s community, a Jewish community, a Muslim community, a Maori community, a Kenyan slum, South African prison, Ghanaian hospital, Ireland, Scotland, Wales or England that this Award bears your name, that you started it and you did it because you have faith in people.”

“The few who are gathered here today in this magnificent Abbey represent the millions who want to say thank you; thank you for believing in us, encouraging us and giving us the chance to savour that sense of satisfaction though achievement,” the Earl told the congregation.

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1 comment

Carole Neilson Sat 26 November, 2016 - 7:57 am

Thank you for posting these events.


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