‘I was thrilled to attend my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Friday 19 May 2023. After my expedition was delayed due to Covid, I think I am probably one of the oldest DofE participants at almost 26 years old, and so my ceremony felt like a long time coming! However, it was worth the wait, because the sun shone down on a gorgeous afternoon at the Palace.
‘I attended with my dad, and we entered the Palace through the South Entrance. We enjoyed a walk through the gardens to main lawn to the rear of the Palace. On the main lawn were garden games, a tea and cake tent, and stages for the guest speakers. We spent time exploring the gardens before going to the tea tent for our cake and drink (big shout out to the Palace lemon cake baker!). We then met up with other members of GB who were also receiving their Awards too. It was brilliant to see how Girls’ Brigade has helped so many young people achieve their Awards. We shared our experience of our DofE journies and had a group photo before listening to the speeches of Prince Edward, Charlotte Hawkins, and Emily Palmer.
‘Emily was also a Gold DofE Award holder and youth ambassador. Emily’s path to Gold was not straightforward, having lost the use of her legs after achieving her Silver Award. Emily used her Gold DofE Award as a target during her physiotherapy, and her determination was inspiring. Her story certainly put my damp night on the floor of a campsite toilet into perspective.
‘I feel very lucky to have had the support of GB in completing my Award, and it was fantastic to spend the afternoon celebrating the achievement at the Palace.
‘Thank you GB!’