Perse students enjoy “unforgettable” Duke of Edinburgh Awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace
17 May 2019
L-R: Fraser Allen (OP), Jemima White, Holly Jones
Upper Sixth students Holly Jones and Jemima White relished the experience of receiving their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards at Buckingham Palace.
They attended a special ceremony at the Royal residence and were joined by Old Perseans Fraser Allen and Sophia Hudson, who had also successfully completed the DofE awards scheme.
Holly and Jemima had the honour of meeting HRH The Earl of Wessex, who is now patron of the DofE programme, and a number of other famous faces, including guest speaker Greg Rusedski, the former British No 1 and world No 4 tennis ace.
For Holly, attending the ceremony at Buckingham Palace was an “unforgettable experience”.
She said: “I was very excited, as I’m sure anyone would be. I had actually been to Buckingham Palace before, but getting the award there definitely gave it a new meaning.
“You bypass all the tourists surrounding the palace and are able to roam around the gardens, where the ceremonies are held, which isn’t something you get to do often. You really do feel quite special being there, having finally achieved the award.
“We met HRH Earl of Wessex, who chatted to us, so we were really lucky. We also bumped into Judy Murray, Mike Bushell, the BBC sports presenter, and the actor Jason Watkins, who we recognised from the film Nativity!
“Our guest speaker was Greg Rusedski, who presented us with our certificates. He was very friendly and welcoming, he spoke about his career from an early age and the challenges and opportunities they brought him.
“It was a really amazing day. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, which definitely made the atmosphere. The award took a lot of dedication and effort, so it was a very proud day having finally completed it after all the hard work. It truly was a great opportunity and something I will remember forever.”
Jemima was similarly thrilled by being part of such a special occasion.
She said: “I didn’t know what to expect, but we had a really great welcome. We were able walk around the gardens, there were bands playing and the atmosphere was really exciting because everyone was so happy to be there.
“Greg Rusedski gave a motivational speech about how his life experiences impacted on his career and how he really valued his parents’ help. Our parents were there as well, so that was really nice. He gave us the awards and he was really down to earth and friendly.
“It was great to get the recognition for achieving the award because it took a lot of hard work and it was really nice to meet other people who had done the same.”
Listen to Jemima talk about what she did to achieve the Gold DofE Award and why she would encourage others to take part below.