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Duke of Edinburgh becomes patron of award founded by his father

The newly appointed Duke of Edinburgh has said it is an honour to become patron of the award to which his father Philip gave his title.

The King handed his late father’s title the Duke of Edinburgh to his brother Prince Edward in celebration of his 59th birthday on Friday.

Philip wanted his son to take on the historic title to mark Edward’s decades-long commitment to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the youth scheme which is one of Philip’s greatest legacies.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) and Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award have now announced that the Duke of Edinburgh will be the charities’ new patron.

Edward, a passionate supporter of the DofE and International Award for decades and having achieved his own Gold Award in 1986, takes on the patronages previously held by his father who founded the Award in 1956.

The duke said: “Some say The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is in my DNA; it’s certainly been a major part of my life for a very long time.”

“Being asked to take on the role of patron after my father is a particular honour and quite a responsibility.”

“Sustaining and enhancing what is arguably his greatest legacy around the world matters a great deal to me, as does pursuing the Award’s long-term ambition of universal access so that every eligible young person has the opportunity to participate.”

“Above all, I hope to ensure The Award to which my father gave his title, those that achieve it, and those who deliver it continue to enjoy the recognition they so richly deserve.”

In Gibraltar, the news was welcomed by Michael Pizzarello, National Director of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Gibraltar.
“This is wonderful news,” he said.
“Having met and worked with HRH I know that he cares deeply for the Award and the work we do with young people, and it is only fitting that he takes on the role of Patron. On behalf of all of us involved locally, our heartiest congratulations to the Duke.”

Ruth Marvel, chief executive of the DofE, said it’s fantastic that the duke will be the DofE’s patron, at a time when young people need support more than ever.

“He has played an active role in our charity for many years – meeting young people from all over the UK to hear about the difference they’re making in their communities, and the impact their DofE has had on them,” she said.

“The duke shares our belief that opportunities for enrichment and personal development – like the DofE – should be available to all young people, so they can develop the skills and capabilities they need to thrive in an uncertain world.”

“We look forward to working with the duke to give even more young people the life-changing chance to do their DofE in these crucial coming years.”

Interim Secretary General and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Peck added he is also delighted by the news of The Duke’s patronage.

“He has always been exceptionally dedicated to the Award; a champion of non-formal education and how it can make a life changing impact to young people all over the world,” he said.

“Like our Founder, The Duke believes in the potential of young people and the power they have to create a bright future for themselves and make a difference in their communities. On behalf of the 130+ countries delivering the Award, we are excited to continue working closely with The Duke as the Award continues to reach more young people around the world.”

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