The newly-minted Duke of Edinburgh admits being asked to take on the role of patron after his late father Prince Philip ‘is a particular honour and quite a responsibility.’
AceShowbiz -Prince Edward has become patron of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. The 59-year-old royal became the new Duke of Edinburgh just days ago, and now he’s also taken over from his late father, Prince Philip, as patron of the youth awards programmes he launched.
King Charles’ brother had already worked for many years promoting the awards, and he admitted it’s an honour to continue Philip’s “greatest legacy around the world.”
Edward 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.”
As part of his role, the duke met 10 Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award participants at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Upon receiving his new title, Edward admitted he was “slightly overwhelmed.”
The royal was handed the title by his brother on his birthday on Friday, March 10, and on a visit to the Scottish city later in the day, Edward, who was joined by his wife Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, reflected on the enormity of what had happened. On their visit to Edinburgh, Edward and Sophie met with members of the Ukrainian and Eastern European diaspora at the City Chambers to mark one year since the city’s formal response to the invasion of Ukraine.
And in a speech, the prince said, “Thank you very much indeed for welcoming us to Edinburgh today on, indeed, a very special and slightly overwhelming day.” He then referred to Sophie as “my wife and Duchess,” which made the audience laugh.
Edward continued, “But I also want to express my thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make our Ukraine friends feel so very welcome.”
Buckingham Palace had announced the news of Edward’s new title earlier in the day. An official statement read, “His Majesty The King has been pleased to confer the Dukedom of Edinburgh upon The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Forfar, on the occasion of His Royal Highness’s 59th birthday. The title will be held by Prince Edward for His Royal Highness’s lifetime. The Dukedom was last created for Prince Philip in 1947, upon his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, who held the title of Duchess of Edinburgh before acceding to the throne in 1952. The new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh are proud to continue Prince Philip’s legacy of promoting opportunities for young people of all backgrounds to reach their full potential.”
The Duke’s new title means his former one, the Earl of Wessex, now goes to his 15-year-old son James, who previously held the title Viscount Severn. The couple’s daughter, 19-year-old Lady Louise Windsor, sees no difference in her title.
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