If you read my blog on a regular basis, you will know from my last post that I completed my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award and on Tuesday of this week, I went to the awards ceremony at St. James’s Palace to collect it!
For those of you who can remember back to about four years ago (admittedly difficult I know), Kate and Prince William announced their engagement. The room in which they announced this is the room my ceremony took place in! (This is very exciting for me as I love Kate and Wills far too much).
Prince Edward (son of the Queen, and therefore the brother of Charles) was there to present us with our certificates and ask us questions about how we found the Duke of Edinburgh award and whether we’d do it again. He was so lovely and funny and put us all completely at ease. I was so nervous, never having met any of the royal family before (do you bow, curtesy, handshake? I have no idea) but he could not have been nicer.
What is the Duke of Edinburgh award?
Funnily enough, the award was created by Prince Philip, aka, the Duke of Edinburgh. You have to pass through Bronze and Silver in order to achieve the Gold, and it involves some kind of hiking expedition, lasting five days or longer, volunteering, learning a new skill and taking up a sport. I won’t bore you with all the details but for my Gold, I:
- Did one year volunteering in a music shop.
- Did six months of going to the gym once a week.
- Did a year of piano lessons (something I’ve done since I was five, so that one wasn’t too difficult).
- Had to leave home for at least five days, without staying with friends or family, and do something as part of a community. I attended a music composition course in Watford, near London, for a week (scary stuff!)
So it does take up quite a lot of time, and took me about two years to complete it. But was it worth it? If you have this on your CV, it shows commitment, perseverance and that, because it is all optional and extra-curriculum, you are willing to give up your free time to achieve something that is not expected of you.
Our expeditions were definitely interesting to say the least. We got lost up a mountain for THREE HOURS and were seriously considering calling Mountain Rescue when we finally got mobile signal and a call from our instructor came through wondering where the hell we were.
The above photo is an example of something we had to climb up. With rucksacks on that weigh the same as a small child. While the photo below is of us looking (fairly) happy, pre being lost for three hours.
The Duke of Edinburgh was a lot of fun, but also a lot of hard work. I can’t believe I made it to Gold! My brother and sister made it to Bronze before giving up. Definitely worth doing if anyone’s considering it! (although you have to be under 25)