Prince Philip to host Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards ceremony
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will mark the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Westminster Abbey on Thursday (24.11.16).
The 90-year-old monarch and the 95-year-old prince will attend a ceremony to mark the milestone of the scheme, which was founded in 1956 by Philip.
A service of 2,000 people is expected to take place at the famous London landmark and among attendees include Paralympic gold medalist Hannah Cockroft and comedian Jon Culshaw.
During the last six decades, over 5.6 million young people in Britain have taken part in the scheme with 2.5 million gaining a bronze, silver or gold award for taking part in challenging exercises.
In the introduction to the service, Philip says: “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.”
Back in May, Philip threw a garden party at Buckingham Palace to the 60th anniversary.
He was joined by 60 celebrities – including Ronan Keating and Ben Cohen – at the London residence where he dished out badges and certificates to the Gold winners as part of the programme’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
Anna Friel, who met the duke at the party, said: “I never did the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award when I was younger, but my best friends did. I was in the drama room while they were in the mountains. It’s a great scheme because it encourages young people to push themselves, it teaches them life skills.
“I was talking to someone the other day about why they did it, and they said, ‘Because it will help me to get a job, it shows that you are up for a challenge.’ ”
And the 40-year-old actress was so inspired by the programme, which recognise adolescents and young adults for completing a series of self-improvement exercises, that she’s decided to take on her own Diamond Challenge.
At the time, she said: “I am going to Borneo next week to help release some orang-utans into the wild, so maybe that could be my Diamond Challenge!”