Monday, 12 December 2016

UPDATED: Kate Recalls Memories as Duke of Edinburgh's Award Celebrate's 60th Anniversary!

We've been treated to several outstanding royal documentaries this year, with highlights including ITV's Our Queen at Ninety featuring memorable interviews, behind-the-scenes insights and much more as the Monarch celebrated her landmark birthday, including the Duchess of Cambridge's first interview since becoming a member of the Royal family. We also saw Prince Charles reflect on 40 years of the Prince's Trust in When Ant & Dec Met the Prince as boistrous presenters Ant and Dec accompanied the heir on a number of engagements. Tonight, ITV aired a one-hour special, hosted by veteran presenter Phillip Schofield called When Phillip met Prince Philip: 60 years of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

ITV/Duke of Edinburgh Award

You might be wondering why I'm posting on the documentary. It turns out, whilst the Duchess was not interviewed, she very briefly participated in the documentary sharing her experiences gaining her DofE. I was surprised on social media that many royal fans don't know Kate achieved her gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which reportedly involved a four-day hike, during her time at Marlborough College. Interestingly, Kate's short contribution wasn't promoted in the media, and I wasn't aware of it until Kensington Palace shared this tweet earlier today.



Filmed at the Buckingham Palace Team GB reception in October, the Duchess wore a bespoke floral-print McQueen dress and chatted with a group of Olympians who all achieved their award. Kate recalled hiking in the pouring rain: "I can remember trying to cook bacon in the soaking wet. Everything was just sopping and I was trying and trying to cook bacon. I remember saying you know what, I think we're just going to have plain sandwiches. Bread, basic bread and butter." Kate then asked the Olympians: "Have you all used it and fallen back on the skills you learned from it?"

ITV

The documentary revealed Kate received her award nearly 20 years ago at St James's Palace. Little did she know at the time the Duke would one day be her children's great-grandfather.

ITV

The Duchess and Prince Philip chatting with the Olympians.

ITV

In a press release shared by Palace, the Duchess described obtaining the award as "one of the most memorable experiences from growing up":

"I started my Duke of Edinburgh's Award while I was at Marlborough College, completing my Bronze before getting my Gold Award while I was in the sixth form. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is such a great way for young people to grow in confidence, learn new skills, work as part of a team and have great fun along the way. While getting my Gold Award was challenging at times, it is one of my most memorable experiences from growing up, and I could not recommend it more highly."

I still cannot believe Prince Philip is 95! The documentary was everything one would expect from the ever-witty and always-humorous Prince. Her Majesty has referred to her husband as her "strength and stay", and over the decades they have remained steadfast and wholly dedicated to the monarchy. Apart from supporting the Queen and carrying out numerous solo engagements, Philip has created quite the legacy of his own: the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The Telegraph has described the award as "arguably the most successful enterprise set up by any member of the current Royal family".


From small beginnings in 1956, the 'D of E', as it is commonly known, was launched. It was at first "for boys" aged 15 to 18. In the beginning it was administered, and largely designed, by John Hunt, who had led the first successful climb of Everest in 1953, and had retired from the army to run the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. It was designed to attract boys who had not been interested in joining one of the main British youth movements, such as the Scout Association. It was not necessary to 'join' any organisation, or wear a uniform to participate. In the first 12 months, 7,000 boys had enrolled for the scheme. The programme borrowed from the Moray Badge, instituted at Gordonstoun School by its headmaster, Kurt Hahn, in 1936, and the County Badge adopted in Moray in 1941. In November 1957 it was announced that girls would be invited to participate. On 19 June 1958 the award was extended to girls, with the first girls allowed to join from 1 September 1958. The programme for girls was not the same as that for boys, and was for ages 14 to 20. The first girls received their Gold Awards on 3 November 1959 at Buckingham Palace. From January 1965, the Gold Award for boys and girls was made more similar. The first Gold Awards were achieved in 1958, and the charity was established in 1959. A single programme for young people aged 14 to 21 was launched in 1969, and extended to those up to 25 years of age in 1980.



More on the Awards programmes from Wikipedia:

'The Duke of Edinburgh's Award programmes take between one and four years to complete, and they must be completed by the participant's twenty-fifth birthday. There are around 300,000 participants annually. The programmes are at three progressive levels which, if successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
With assistance from adult Leaders, participants select and set objectives in each of the following areas: 
Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community
Physical: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities.
Skills: developing practical and social skills and personal interests.
Expedition: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad.
At Gold level, participants must do an additional fifth Residential section, which involves staying and working away from home for five days, doing a shared activity.
To achieve an award, the participant must work on each section for a minimum period of time, and must be monitored and assessed by someone with knowledge of the chosen activities. Each progressive level demands more time and commitment from participants: Bronze 3–6 months; Silver: 6–9 months; Gold: 12–18 months. Participants are required to show regular activity and commitment to the award for the duration of their DofE programme, which is usually at least one hour per week.'

More from the Duke of Edinburgh's Award website: "Since its creation in 1956 by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh KG KT, the DofE has gone from strength to strength. Guided by the same set of principles and by young people themselves, it’s as relevant today as it was then. A flexible programme that helps to develop young people for life and work, the numbers speak for themselves: 93% of participants feel that DofE has helped them to work in a team and 84% feel that they have become a more responsible person. From 1,000 DofE Awards achieved in year one to 119,892 last year, we have both a rich history and a bright future. Why not let our timeline and our young people tell you more?"


I very much enjoyed the documentary - the inside clips, interviews and commentary. Presenter Phillip Schofield revealed he would take part in a wing walk to raise funds for the DofE. Philip, in typical style replied: "Who's trying to get rid of you? Are you going to stand there on the wing and say 'hello folks'? I wouldn’t open your mouth if I were you." The popular This Morning presenter described the royal as "sharp as a pin". You can donate to Philip's JustGiving fundraising page here.


Actress Joanna Lumley has know the Duke for years revealing a funny story: "He is very, very interested in art. I think he’s a fine painter. One of the paintings that he showed me I loved and he’d done it himself. He was dismissive. I said: 'Sir, I wonder if when you shuffle off the mortal coil whether that would find its way into my hands?' Schofield interjected, saying: "What!" Lumley, smirking, head in hands, added: "I don’t know how I had the nerve. Well I wanted the painting. I liked it so much. I wanted it. What impertinence. I think he is an extraordinary character. He rides, sails, drives horses, fishes and swims and does stuff. He really could have been James Bond, actually. And he was a naval commander as well, like Commander Bond. He is good fun to be around but he is quite shy. I think sometimes at some huge event I have seen him say, 'Oh God, I have to do that'. But then he puts his head up, chin out and goes and does it."


The Countess of Wessex, who is a Global Ambassador for the DofE Award, and recently undertook her own challenge - cycling from Scotland to London to raise funds in celebration of the award's 60th year  - gave a candid interview describing her father-in-law as a fantastic partner for the Queen: "He has been a fantastic life partner for her. I think it's maybe a fairly lonely job being queen. As a female in the top job I think to have somebody you can lean on, you can discuss things with, she can be honest with behind closed doors... I don’t think she could have chosen better. And they make each other laugh, which is half the battle, isn't it?" Describing his role as a grandfather: "He's wonderful, he takes a real interest in the children."


Prince Edward also gave an interview, saying his father "never talks about himself". "He’s got a brilliant mind. He's always amazingly innovative so people would come with ideas to suggest to him and he'd always turn them into something 10 times better. He said his father described the DoE Award, which involves sporting, volunteering and physical challenges, as a "do-it-yourself kit for growing up, which everybody always sees as a bit flippant but, actually, it is true." Below, we see the Earl receiving his Gold Award from his father.


Another enjoyable moment was seeing home movies filmed by the Queen in the 1960s, which show the Prince as a young man playing with his children at Balmoral, the Queen's Scottish estate, and aboard the royal yacht Britannia. I've always felt Prince Philip is likely someone Kate looks to, as she too will be consort one day, and can no doubt draw upon his decades of experience and ability to travel through royal life with indefatigable humour. When asked if he encouraged his children and grandchildren to take part in the award, the Prince replied (in true form): "It’s up to them. I’m not going to twist their arm." :)


The documentary is now available to watch on YouTube. Click here to view it. Kate's part begins at about 37 minutes in. 



Next, we'll see a documentary called Prince Harry in Africa, on Monday 19th December, ITV 1 at 9 pm. A documentary following the Cambridges would be a stellar addition to the wonderful programmes made covering key members of the Royal family. Perhaps with a focus on the Heads Together campaign and breaking the stigma surrounding mental health. I do hope something is in the planning! :)

We'll see you on Wednesday when the Duchess attends a special Cub Scout Pack meeting with King's Lynn District cubs to celebrate 100 years of Cubs.

71 comments:

  1. I liked the docomentary. This journalist "got" Phillip. He didn't try to get out what Phillip feels or get him talking about himself. Right interviewer choice :)

    A spectacular organization! How great that Kate participated in it, and got the award from Phillip! Little did she know he would be the great grandfather of her kids!!

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    1. How true, Rebecca. "Small world" comes to mind. :)

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    2. couple that with the fact that her paternal grandfather flew with Prince Phillip and received gold cuff links from him and a note of thanks for that his efforts, it REALLY is a small world. Then there are the Luptons, Kate's paternal ancestors, who hosted Princess Mary in Leeds, etc. etc.

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    3. I read that other Luptons had other links with the Royal family also.

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  2. Great post Charlotte!!

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  3. Has anybody been watching The Crown on Netflix? I'm sure there is plenty of poetic license but it really is a great show. I am only a few episodes in and it really shows the strength and character that Elizabeth and Phillip have and what a good match they are. I highly suggest watching it!!

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    1. It is beautifully produced, well written and acted. We watched the entire 10 episodes of season 1, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend it.

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    2. I watched all of it and really enjoyed it. Not sure how accurate it is but even if slightly, it made me even a greater admirer of the Queen. Really looking forward to the next season.

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    3. I thought it was excellent. Claire Foy gave an outstanding performance. The voice, mannerisms, and even holding handbags like HM. It was great to see her nominated for a Golden Globe yesterday. Interestingly, I was surprised to read they plan to entirely recast after season two. With six seasons in the planning, I suspect they are intending to cover the Queen's reign through the Diana years and perhaps to the present. It will be interesting to see who they cast (wouldn't it be great for Helen Mirren to reprise her role?).

      If anyone hasn't seen it yet, I would highly recommend it.

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    4. We are getting Netflix for Christmas. It's one of the 1st shows I want to watch besides the Gilmore Girlso show.

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    5. Helen Mirren did an excellent performance in playing the Queen. She would be a good choice.

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    6. Not to be a spoil-sport, but I doubt contractual obligations would allow her
      to use the character she created for cinema in a television program. Maybe a deal could be made.

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    7. It would be interesting. Peter Morgan who created The Crown also wrote The Queen, starring Helen Mirren. Logistically, it's going to be a mammoth task recasting everyone from the Queen Mother to the Duke of Edinburgh, and side characters too.

      For anyone who isn't a Netflix customer, as far as I know, you can sign up for Free for a month and then cancel without any costs being incurred.

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    8. I haven't seen it yet and hope to soon but I, for one, am glad they're recasting. It's silly when they try to "age" the same characters and go from 20 to 80 by way of makeup and padding alone.
      I've heard The Crown is VERY favorable to the queen and glosses over many of the more unpleasant and/or controversial episodes but still a good watch!

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  4. Really fascinating. I was unaware of this, so many thanks Charlotte. Look forward to seeing the documentary when it is available on YouTube.

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    1. Yes, thank you Charlotte. With learning sailing, skiing, Iceskating, doing scouting, excelling at sports, achieving good grades, doing theater (even getting the lead role more than once), photography, and achieving the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, Kate had a very busy upbringing. She obviously fully applied herself in each endeavor.

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    2. I love the warm repartee between Kate and Prince Phillip.

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    3. 02:44,

      Kate seems to have always been mature for her age, very conscientious.

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    4. And she still is, 02:44.

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    5. Add flying lessons (fixed wing) to her list of accomplishments.

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    6. And scuba diving.

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    7. Not just your garden variety SCUBA diving-she qualified as instructor while she was on that infamous island vacation with William.

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  5. "The documentary revealed Kate received her award nearly 20 years ago at St James's Palace. Little did she know at the time the Duke would one day be her children's great-grandfather." --I think of this often as well, including Catherine's parents. I mean, here's a family that grew up in middle class, normal UK, studying about the Queen and the history of the Royal Family, etc...and never guessing that they'd marry into that very historical and ancient family. It boggles the mind. I wonder how they wrapped their minds around that. From textbook and tests to actually becoming part of the family and participating in events with the real deal. It's hard to fathom.

    I didn't know about Catherine's DOE award either. That likely gave her and Phillip something in common early on.

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    1. Plus her grandfather and Phillip were friends from before Kate was born. And, Michael's family entertained the Royals years ago.

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    2. Reply to Anon 17:47 Her grandfather and Philip were not friends - he piloted a plane with Philip as a passenger whilst on tour. And Michael's something/great grandparents "entertained" royals in an official capacity, not on a personal basis.

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    3. 00:59,
      They were friends enough that Phillip wrote a handwritten note of thanks to Peter and gifted him with a set of gold cuff links. Also hosting and entertaining are the same things where I come from. Entertaining can be done in official capacities. That was the intention of the word as I used it. Not to imply in any way that they sat around the tellie drinking ale and munching on chips and dip. That was never my intention. Although one of her ancestors in that generation did pal around with royalty and as soon as I re-find those links I will include them.

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    4. And, Phillip did co-pilot with Peter Middleton on that tour. Google it. :)

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    5. True, 20:36.

      According to Rebecca English in The Daily Mail, 11/8/2013, "Kate Reveals She's Taking Flying Lessons", in 1962 during a two month tour of South America, Peter Middleton (Kate's paternal grandfather) was assigned as first officer to Prince Phillip to co-pilot with him.
      Phillip flew 49 of the 62 flights of that tour with Peter Middleton as his co-pilot. He did send Peter a personal note of thanks and also a set of gold cuff links, according to Rebecca English and others.
      Also, according to "The Lupton Family" and "Family of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge", both Wikipedia, and many other sources, Kate's ancestors were indeed friends with the Royal family. In 1509, Roger Lupton was Chaplain to King Henry VIII, (the King who had just dramatically established the Church of England). Roger Lupton was also the provost of Eaton College at that time. Baroness Von Schlunk was friends with the Royal family and was invited to George V's coronation in 1911. She wore a very royal crown and robe to the coronation. She was married into the Lupton family. Many of Kate's relatives have hosted the Royal family and been friends with them also. There is much published information about all of that now for anyone interested in researching Kate's ancestry. It is a lot of fun.

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    6. It is fun. I found an article by Martha Cliff in The Daily Mail, dated 12/10/14, about the Queen Mother and Kate having direct ancestral links. Very nice article. One could probably do a very enriched and thorough doctoral dissertation on Kate's links to royalty with all of the research that has been done to date and with all the information that has come to light. I think that would be a very fun dissertation to do indeed.

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    7. 00:59,

      I did find that link. (There are others also). Kate's relative, Viscount Bryce, was friends with Prince Arthur and with King George V, according to Gordon Rayner, The Telegraph, December, 2013,
      "How The Family of Kate Middleton Has Been Rubbing Shoulders With Royalty For Over a Century." Other of her relatives have had royals as friends as he says in this article.

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    8. Thanking someone with a note and gift is a long way from being friends. Mr. Middleton co-piloted a plane with Philip. Maybe they had a drink as colleagues. But they were not friends. Also Chaplain and Provost are job titles, not names of friends. Here we go again with trying to elevate Kate's family. Is there something wrong with where they are?

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    9. I agree with bluhare here. I think that it is an amazing fact that Kate's family on both sides were not aristocrats yet here she is. Why do we have to pretend that they were?

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    10. No pretense, 23:31. She has distinguished ancestry that hosted royalty and some became friends with royalty. That's documented fact. Denying that doesn't help anything either. That her family in the past had been friendly to the monarchy probably didn't hurt anything in her fitting seamlessly into the royal family. I believe that an extensive background check was done the first semester at University when she became part of William's inner circle. Although, they were no doubt aware already of Peter and Valerie and Valerie's sister. Kate is going to be directly related to every seated monarch in the future. No unknown quantities allowed is my guess. Had her ancestry included dissidents and devout republicans, William could be single now or married to someone else. Just an opinion.

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    11. I have read articles that they were friends, as much as Phillip could develop friends outside of the Royal circle. And in my opinion, in my casual researching Roger Lupton, given the tumultuous time surrounding his tenure as Chaplain to Henry VIII, it would seem that they must have developed a modicum of comraderie, as much as anyone could ever get close to Henry VIII. To me, that he served the king in that capacity during that time and still lived a long life speaks to some degree of friendship. The facts seem to bear this out with Peter and with Phillip. No one can be sure either way, although one can serve and be friends simultaneously. The two are mutually exclusive.

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    12. We aren't trying to elevate Kate's family. They already were/are.

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    13. Thank you 2331. That's one of the reasons I was interested in Kate. She was one of us, not some society princess. I had high hopes for her, and wanted her to do us proud.

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    14. I think I understand what you mean and that is the way their relationship was portrayed in the beginning and even up to the wedding, but the media came to find out Kate was not exactly middle-class. She has had a fairly privileged upbringing with most of her friends being glosse posse and aristocrats.

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    15. Here we go again with the semantics. Michael Middleton's family contains landed gentry who associated with royals professionally. Perhaps they were friendly. Most of us are friendly with professional associates. I've read a lot of historical biographies and the Luptons don't feature at all. If they were such great friends you'd think they'd get a mention. Philip does or did have friends who don't have titles, so I'm not sure where you are going with that. I've read a bio of him as well and Peter Middleton didn't feature as a great friend. His great friend was not titled and word was he was quite the partner in crime.

      And if Kate went through vetting, it wasn't for her lineage. That being said, if you want to think that the Middletons are full of aristocrats who consorted with Kings, feel free, but it shouldn't be presented as fact.

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    16. *not mutually exclusive. lol

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    17. Since Kate was going to be entering the royal family and since Peter's funeral was presumably a small one with only family there, it truly would not have surprised me if Phillip had attended that service in respect to Kate and William and also to Peter, and all his service to his country. The community is reportedly a very discreet one when it comes to the Middletons and their royal visitors, so that makes that even more plausible. At 90, their time together was probably a very special memory for Phillip and for Peter.

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    18. I'm sure that members of the Firm have MANY friends and acquaintances that we never read about. The RF doesn't talk and loyal friends and acquaintances don't blab. Unverifiable information doesn't mean the contact/association didn't exist. This may not jive with the doors to manual point of view but it is what it is.

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    19. I think Kate's pre-William royal ties have been a bit inflated and like many on here, I don't understand the reasoning.
      Part of her charm when she was dating William was that she was truly a commoner, her parents are self-made millionaires. William didn't choose any of the aristocratic English girls he dated, he chose a commoner who may have ties but those ties aren't close.
      Mike Middleton worked as a BA dispatcher and Carole was a flight attendant. Carole's family were coal miners and laborers. Carole wanted better for herself and her daughters and she helped them climb the social ladder, all the way to the palace. That's not being catty, it's just fact.
      There still seems to be this yearning for Kate's blood pre-marriage to be tinged with blue, despite the many reports praising the fact that William chose a working-class girl, albeit one who is the daughter of millionaires and the self-made upper middle-class.
      Kate is said to prefer that her servants and staff be from outside the UK so she won't feel like they're looking down on her and that same feeling is supposedly behind her reluctance to do the traditional Christmas Eve and Christmas at Sandringham.
      Reading the efforts to remake her family tree into some branch of the Windsors, I can kind of understand her reasoning.

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    20. How did Carole help them climb the social ladder? I have always questioned that but never asked up until now. Their Marlborough years were apparently provided as a matter of course through Michael's family trust fund, as was Kate's university expenses. Pippa got a sports scholarship to Edinburgh. How does that equate to Carole putting them up the social ladder?

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    21. Gordon Rayner in the Telegraph has an article on just that very subject in a piece he penned in 2013. He has a whole article debuncting Kate's middle class status. He has other articles also on Kate's lineage. As do many others.

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  6. How i love the documentary Its really fascinating too see documentary I would love too see it if avaiable on you youtube i would love too see the duchess in wednesday

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  7. All I've got is that Philip was one cool drink of water back in the day. I saw a B&W shot of him after polo, probably taken in the 60's, and whoa. It gave me an entirely new appreciation of Philip. I think it was in Vanity Fair but I cannot remember.

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    1. Whoa indeed. I remember one of the queens friends described him as a "handsome, tall viking" :P

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    2. Phillip is still the most handsome 95 year old guy around. He is still debonair. He is definitely a man's man and truly a real life James Bond type of guy and yet a true family man at the same time. Quite a combination. The Queen chose wisely.

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    3. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiOjomKgPLQAhWVclAKHZwYDWoQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alamy.com%2Fstock-photo%2Fduke-of-edinburgh-polo.html&psig=AFQjCNEhyHadDi7jKYTNBGgfiurGgX-EKQ&ust=1481747048592751

      I hope that weird looking link works. A tall handsome Viking in a cable sweater and jodhpurs. Le sigh.

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    4. Thanks for the looong link. You WERE motivated.
      lol

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    5. The search was short. And the link brings up a whole page of photos, not the one I was looking at. Oh well.

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    6. Great photographs, I've never seen many of these! Thanks bluhare!

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    7. Phillip is a remarkable person, aside and apart from his role as the husband of the queen of England. He had a rather chaotic childhood that wasn't happy or stable and he managed to rise above that and a number of personal tragedies to achieve success in his military career and woo and marry the heir to the English throne. He's made of very tough stuff and time will tell whether he's passed any of those genes on to his grandchildren.
      I laugh when people compare his situation to Kate's. The only thing they have in common is the rank of royal consort.

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  8. Theresa - Austin, Texas13 December 2016 at 13:50

    Fantastic post! Thank you so much for this wonderful information and all the research you do to bring us behind the scenes information!!

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  9. Eugenie, when talking about her grandfather, Prince Phillip, said that he is the strength of the family, a true patriarch.

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  10. Wouldn't it be nice if someone could find a photo of Kate receiving the Duke of Edinburgh award from Prince Phillip twenty years ago? The Middletons must have been there. Don't know that they would have been allowed to take photos but most likely the Palace did. That would be a nice family photo for George and Charlotte to have around. And that would be a nice photo for DKB to have also.

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    1. Charlotte.

      Any chance we can find a photo of Prince Phillip giving Kate that award? (Royal use of the word "we" there). If anyone can find one, you can. :)

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    2. Wouldn't it be lovely to see it? I imagine it takes pride of place at the Middleton home in Bucklebury :)

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    3. Charlotte, Any chance getting a copy from the palace archives or The Duke of Edinburgh archive photos? Perhaps your media friends would like to publish that also. Great story.

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    4. That would be a lead story if they found a photo.

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    5. I have a feeling that there is a photo lurking somewhere in the D of E archives of Kate receiving that award from Prince Phillip. Any of Kate's team game to find that?

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  11. Great post, thank you! Very very interesting. My favourite picture is the one of young Edward receiving the award from his father :). I also think Kate must be very fond of her husband's grandfather and find his advice and his whole example priceless. Prince Philip is truly admirable!

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  12. Kate's hair looks AMAZING in those first few pics!

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  13. As I was scrolling through your blog post before reading it, I thought the picture of Prince Edward receiving the D of E award was Prince William. So as I was reading through the post, I was very surprised to learn that the picture was of Prince Edward! Does anyone else see the family resemblance from this profile view?

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    1. Yes, Eileen. In our family we often think and say that William and Edward sometimes really look alike - just sometimes, though; but at certain times and from certain angles the family resemblance is rather striking.

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  14. Julia from Leominster14 December 2016 at 13:00

    It's interesting that Kate's award was never mentioned until now. A nice surprise. While in the short run, Edward and Sophie will be the main faces of the award scheme in the future - it is said that Edward will take his father's title after he is gone - Kate who is the next generation might be a patron of the awards in the future.

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  15. I don't agree with Prince Phillip on some things but I think he has overcome a lot considering his upbringing. He quite clearly adores his Queen and his family.

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  16. "place of pride" is another expression. :)
    we say place of honor here in the U.S.

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    1. It really is 'pride of place' not 'place of pride' in English.

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    2. right. thanks.

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  17. Thanks for the video link Charlotte. Thanks for the info about Kate.

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