I was a guest of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh at St. James’ Palace – at my elder daughter, Eleanor’s D of E Gold Award presentation.
Eleanor travelled from Leeds, I caught the train from Birmingham and we met for lunch at Victoria before strolling over to our appointment at the palace (via Fortnum and Mason, where I ogled some beautiful but exorbitantly priced leather-bound notebooks).
Once inside the palace the young people were drilled in how to stand in horse-shoe formation in groups of 30 for meeting the Duke. Whilst waiting for him to arrive, Phil Brown gave an interesting and motivational talk on his experiences in the 4×4 relay team in the 1984 Olympic Games.
Then it was the moment we’d been waiting for – Prince Philip’s arrival. He spent some time chatting with each of the ‘horse-shoe’ groups plus any of the parents he spotted wearing a Gold Award badge from their youth. Then the certificates were presented (unfortunately not by the Prince) and it was a proud moment when Eleanor’s name was called.
Eleanor is continuing the expedition skills she learned during her D of E time by tackling the 3 Peaks Challenge (climbing Snowdon, Ben Nevis and Scafell Pike within 24 hours) in May in order to raise money for ShelterBox, which delivers emergency shelter to people made homeless worldwide by disaster. Her target is to raise £250 and she’s launched a fundraising page to supplement the cake sales and tin shaking she’s been doing at university. Please take a look at her page and sponsor her for this worthy cause if you possibly can. As they say, every little helps!
And that’s enough showing-off by a proud mum – next post we’ll be back to work and the subject of writing.