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Celebrating the life of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT

It is with great sadness that The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Barbados acknowledges the death of our Founder HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT.

Sixty-five years ago, His Royal Highness established The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the UK. Since then, it has been delivered in more than 130 countries and territories, equipping and empowering millions of young people to build the skills, confidence and resilience they need to support their communities and be ready for the world.

Stephen R Smith, National Award Chairman lamented:

“The Award in Barbados shares in the loss of our esteemed Founder HRH Prince Philip, after whom the Award programme is named. For us, he was not a distant, fictional figure, but a warm and gentle leader who was familiar to many of us.

His hands-on involvement in the Award ensured that he remained visible and accessible. He delighted in presenting the Gold Awards to qualified Participants whenever possible, engaging and inspiring the youth. His life was an inspiration to all, and the mere mention of his name conjured up a spirit of awe and respect. This respect resonated in the many Award Units across the globe, and played a significant role in garnering support for the programme.

His outstanding legacy will live on, but he will be sorely missed.”

John May, Secretary General of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation says:

‘The International Award family mourns the loss of our inspirational Founder. Prince Philip’s belief in the infinite potential of young people, coupled with his championing of non-formal education and learning, positioned him as a leader and thinker of truly global stature.

Through the personal leadership and involvement of Prince Philp, the Award that bears his name has transformed the lives of millions of young people since it started in 1956 and has impacted countless more in local communities. As young people face exceptional challenge and change in the wake of the current pandemic, this “do-it-yourself growing-up kit”, as he described it, is even more relevant today than ever.

His Royal Highness’s passion for, and commitment to, the work of the Award and the development of young people continued until the last. His determination, energy and enthusiasm will be greatly missed.’

From its founding, The Duke has been committed to ensuring the Award is accessible to young people of all backgrounds. Around the world, the Award has provided opportunities to at risk and marginalised young individuals, including post-conflict communities (Cote d`Ivoire; Uganda); disability groups (Indonesia); indigenous peoples (Belize, Australia) and young offenders (Ghana, South Africa).

Since its introduction in Barbados in 1963, the Award has afforded thousands of young persons a variety of life changing experiences. Today, the Award is delivered through multiple secondary schools, youth organizations, community groups and the Cave Hill Campus, UWI. The Award in Barbados is consistently represented at activities around environmental awareness, disability and community outreach.

Every year, more than a million young people participate in the Award worldwide, supported by around 200,000 volunteers. Whilst it is known by a number of different names globally – from The President’s Award in South Africa, to The International Award for Young People in India, the framework remains the same.

May continues:

‘As we mark the extraordinary life of The Duke of Edinburgh, we are resolutely committed to ensuring His Royal Highness’s vision for the Award continues to grow and reach even more young people worldwide in the years to come, under the Chairmanship of HRH The Earl of Wessex.’

At this time, the International Award family encourages anyone who would like to share a message of condolence, or memories of the Award and what it means to them to visit

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