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Duke of Edinburgh Award Gold Presentation at Buckingham Palace

The Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Certificate Presentations take place at one of the royal palaces. On May 24th this year four Crompton House students were privileged to receive their certificates in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The weather was wonderful as Sarah Andrews, Robert Harding, Aimee Mahoney and Freya Upton walked through the main gates of the palace onto the immaculate lawns to the sounds of a military band. Despite the long distances travelled everyone arrived in good time so before the presentation there was time to walk round the grounds and admire the wonderful plants from all over the world.

The formal part of the afternoon started with the National Anthem as Prince Philip, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex entered the grounds. They then visited the thirty groups of 24 young people. The students from Crompton House were spoken to by the Duke of Edinburgh. He asked the parents if any had achieved the Gold Award themselves, before moving on their children. He talked to them about their experiences on the award and discussed their expeditions and residential experiences enthusiastically.  He spent about 15 minutes with the group which, it transpired, was his last group presentation in England before he takes his well-earned “retirement”.

After the Duke had spoken, he handed the certificates to Erin Boag who used to be a dancer in Strictly Come Dancing. She spoke of how her determination had got her to the top of her career, dancing with Anton Du Beck. She then presented the certificates to the young men and women in our North of England group.

Although taking photographs of the Duke of Edinburgh was not permitted, there were plenty of celebrity presenters to pose with including, Greg Rutherford, Bill Bailey, Ed Byrne, Prue Leith, Ross Kemp, John Craven and Monica Galetti.

Mr Jim Upton, Deputy Head and school D of E coordinator, accompanied his daughter and said, “It was an amazing experience for the award holders, and their parents. We all knew how much effort our children had put into achieving the awards, and visiting Buckingham Palace was a real highlight. Hearing the Duke of Edinburgh talk to our group was fascinating. He took a real interest in what they had done to achieve the award, and his congratulations seemed to come from his heart.”

The four from Crompton House were:

Sarah Andrews: left CHS in 2016 and has just completed her first year studying Law at Manchester Metropolitan University

Robert Harding: left CHS in 2016 and is about to start a university apprenticeship in IT at Sale and Birmingham

Aimee Mahoney: left CHS in 2014 and is in the final stages of her podiatry degree at Brighton. She will then spend some time travelling around the world.

Freya Upton: currently taking her A Level exams before attending an international Scout Moot in Iceland in July. She is planning to study Maths at University.