What will happen to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme now?

Jennifer Savin
·2-min read
Photo credit: Mark Cuthbert - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mark Cuthbert - Getty Images

Following the very sad death of the Queen's husband, Prince Philip, many are wondering what will happen to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award charity scheme (commonly known as DofE) now.

The scheme has been credited as enriching the lives of millions of young people for over 60 years, after it started back in 1956. Its ethos is all about challenging individuals to step outside of their comfort zones, engage in volunteering schemes and partake in new adventures that will bolster their confidence – the theory being that said confidence will then spill over into other areas of their lives.

Initially the programme started as a boys-only initiative, but welcomed girls in after its first year of operation. Currently, over 140 countries offer the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, meaning it's certainly one of the biggest elements of Philip's legacy.

As the charity mourns the loss of its founder and patron, it has released a statement saying it also intends to celebrate His Royal Highness’ incredible legacy – and that it will continue on with all of the hard work that he started.

Photo credit: Anwar Hussein Collection - Getty Images
Photo credit: Anwar Hussein Collection - Getty Images

"The Duke’s timeless vision for young people has never been more relevant or needed," said Ruth Marvel, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in a press statement. "The DofE has played a crucial role in supporting young people to survive and thrive despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, and we will continue to build on his legacy."

Marvel added, "The Duke was a lifelong advocate for young people, believing in each individual’s potential and creating in the DofE what he saw as a 'do-it-yourself growing up kit'.

"We’re honoured to continue HRH’s work, to ensure that all young people – especially those from marginalised groups – can benefit from the better educational outcomes, employment prospects, community ties and better mental health that are associated with doing DofE."

The charity have also urged people who have benefitted from and enjoyed partaking in DofE over the years to share their stories and memories online at DofE.org. They estimate that 6.7 million young people have been left better off by the programme.

The BBC report that the royal family have asked well wishers to avoid leaving flowers outside of the Palace in memory of Philip, due to coronavirus restrictions, and have instead suggested that donating to a charity, such as DofE, would be a fitting tribute for the Duke.

It's believed that the title of 'Duke of Edinburgh' will now be passed on to Prince Edward, Philip and the Queen's youngest son, however it has not been confirmed if this change will take place with immediate effect (or if Prince Charles is to become king first).

Our thoughts are with Her Majesty and all of the royal family during this very sad time.

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