Remembering the life of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT
As a global Award family, we are deeply saddened by the death of our Founder, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT. A committed champion of young people; His Royal Highness leaves the world and its young people with an extraordinary legacy.
Book of Condolences
If you would like to share a message of condolence, or a memory of the Award and what it means to you, please do so here. We will collate these tributes into an official letter of condolence from the Award family in Aotearoa New Zealand to HM The Queen, HRH The Earl of Wessex, and the rest of the family.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s unwavering commitment to young people began in 1956, when The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was established. Since it was established in Aotearoa in 1963, it has helped motivate young New Zealanders to set goals and challenge themselves to take control of their lives and futures.
The impact of the Award on young people is extraordinary - it transforms lives.
We are also looking at ways to commemorate His Royal Highness and will confirm once the New Zealand government has announced their plans.
Memories from our Award community
It was through Hamilton Girls’ High School that I first heard about The Duke of Edinburgh's Awards. Myself and a few others completed our badges through the Hamilton YWCA. It was a wonderful well-rounded programme - an introduction to open young lives to a variety of opportunities for adventure and to meet and serve others. Happy days!
In the early morning of Friday 13 March 1970, my parents proudly drove us from Hamilton to Wellington to attend the presentation of my Gold Award from HRH, The Duke of Edinburgh, at Government House. Memory says myself and three others were the first females in New Zealand to earn that privilege.
HRH spoke with about every fourth person, and I was lucky enough to be asked “Where did you do your community service?” I proudly replied, “The Nest”. He enquired as to what “The Nest” was, to which I explained it was the Hamilton orphanage (I’d obviously assumed everyone knew that!).
I returned to Government House and the ballroom in February 2019, not quite 49 years to the day, and again had my photo taken, this time by one of the staff. Lovely warm memories. R.I.P.
Adele Mason, Gold Award
Friday 13th March 1970, Government House, Wellington.
It is very sad to hear of the passing of HRH Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award has been a great opportunity for me as it has grown my interest in the outdoors and volunteering. The tramps that I have taken part in to this day have been very memorable, including the training, which has increased my understanding of the environment.
It has also given me so many different opportunities such as helping at events to gain my service for the Award. It is amazing how giving people a little hand can give you so much pleasure and how you are able to make a person’s day just a little bit easier.
If HRH Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT, hadn’t created this Award, I may have never tried these new activities or increased my knowledge.
I look forward to finishing this amazing Award that the HRH Duke of Edinburgh KG, KT, has created all the way up to Gold.
Rest in peace Your Royal Highness.
I started The Duke of Edinburgh's Award three years ago. I have completed my Bronze and Silver Awards and have nearly finished my Gold Award. This Award has changed my life in so many ways. It has led me to find many of my passions including Spanish (my skill), running (physical recreation), and my love for the environment (service). Without doing this Award, I would have never found these passions which have helped me to find my place in the world. I’ve also met so many new people and joined a lot of community groups through the Award. Thank you so much for giving me and other young people this opportunity.
The D of E Award programme was one the best exercises I undertook as a college student. The Award process ensured I had access to many new activities that I may not otherwise have encountered. It gave me confidence and new skill sets. I did meet Prince Philip on one occasion and found him engaging and encouraging. HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh RIP.
Evan Bayly, Gold Award Holder from 1974
Wellington, New Zealand
I remember HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as a man of ambition for youth. He was approachable, great company, and devoted to his role alongside the Queen and to his personal patronages.
Do not underestimate his contribution to the causes he championed, nor his legacy to these causes.
Richard Izard CNZM OBE
Twin sisters Brigitte (left) and Ursula (second from right) receiving their Gold Award from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh at Government House in Wellington in 1990.
Brigitte Windley is now a current Board Member for The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award.
I am a Bronze Award holder and I’m currently doing my Gold Award. Deciding to do The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the best decision I’ve ever made in high school life. All the amazing memories I’ve made are the things I couldn’t imagine before. What the Duke of Edinburgh is trying to establish is that not all the learning comes from classrooms. I learnt so much through trying new things and discovering the world. I believe that everyone should have a go at doing The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as it will teach you things that you can’t learn in class.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award importantly taught me resilience. I was able to achieve things that I didn't think I was physically or mentally able to do, particularly through the tramps. This skill has been integral in the years that have followed the Award for me as I lost my father in my early adolescence and have since had several health issues.
I truly think this Award shapes you into a better version of yourself.
Rest in Peace, Prince Philip. It is an honour to share your vision and continue to support the amazing DofE programme. Sincerest sympathies to Her Majesty the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family.
Bronze, Silver and Gold Award Holder (1980s), current Award Leader at St Peter's School, Cambridge
Blue Light groups from Tokoroa and Wanganui travelled to Taupō over the weekend to complete their qualifying journey for Bronze. With the news of the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, we thought it appropriate to speak of some of his accolades and have a moments silence at our campsite.
I completed my Bronze and Silver Awards while at secondary school and finalised my Gold Award while I was at University.
The Award was great for me as I was already doing a skill and a sport, but it encouraged me to get into tramping. I was also fortunate to take part in a Spirit of Adventure voyage. Both of these started a lifelong love of the outdoors and the sea. Volunteering was also a great way to push me out of my comfort zone and it cemented the desire to help others. This resulted in me becoming a physiotherapist and participating in volunteer work in Fiji and supporting mums with babywearing (carrying a baby in a sling).
I think the Award is great to encourage young people to try new things, complete requirements and be an active participant in the community.
Donna Smith (née Bennett)
This Award was very important to me because it really did take me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to meet a lot of new people. Since I first started this Award, I really went a long way to grow into an independent young adult. Thank you so much Duke of Edinburgh for creating this Award for everyone. It allowed a lot of young people like me to explore different areas of interest and challenge myself. I will always remember all the experiences the Award has given me and I will use the skills I have learnt in the future! Thank you very much Duke of Edinburgh!
I credit the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award with instilling a lifelong interest in outdoor activities and leading a balanced life of sport, hobbies, and community service which I have continued to do over the last 12 years since I completed my Gold Award. I am very grateful for the framework this Award gave me in life and I would highly recommend all young people to take part in the Award and follow it through all the way to Gold! Thank you, Prince Philip, for your vision in setting up this excellent programme.
I have only recently started my Award after a lot of procrastination, but I’m so glad that I did, and I’m super proud of myself that I had the courage to sign up. Already I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone and done things that I probably wouldn’t have done without the encouragement of the Award. Meeting new people has been the biggest thing for me, mainly through my voluntary service and during my tramp with my fellow participants. The Award has encouraged me to set myself goals and work hard to achieve them. It has been an awesome experience so far and I can’t wait to see what the next couple of years have in store, bring on Silver and Gold!
What an amazing opportunity Prince Philip has made through the D of E Award for young people. Our daughter completed her Silver Award earlier this year and is currently working towards her Gold Award. Her father completed his Gold Award when he was 17 years old while living in England and was awarded it at Buckingham Palace. Special memories.
Parents of Award Participant
Kia ora from Aotearoa.
My daughter is starting her Bronze Award this year. While we are truly saddened to hear of the passing of HRH, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, we are thankful that he has provided our daughter with this amazing opportunity. She is truly excited to become a part of this worldwide community and to challenge herself to continue to become a valuable member of society by participating in a range of activities and volunteer work that can only contribute to her personal growth.
Thank you, Prince Philip, for your commitment to such a far-reaching outstanding programme and to your family for supporting you in your endeavours.
Ngā mihi nui,
Parent of Award Participant
I wanted to pass on my condolences to you and the New Zealand Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The death of His Royal Highness will no doubt have a major impact on you and the Award in a number of ways. I wish you all love and steadfastness at this time.
I personally feel remarkably emotional about his passing, more so than I would have expected. I reflect on the figurehead he was and, albeit the Queen’s Consort, the influential male role model he was to me and others. He exemplified service, candour and loyalty - all of which are strong values instilled in me. Being associated with HRH through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the New Zealand Army, and a citizen of the Commonwealth has been a privilege. At this time of reflection about his life, a strong sense of motivation stirs within to serve our people, communities and environment with gusto.
Please reach out if Future Leaders or I can be of assistance at this time, and into the future.
Ka maumahara tonu tātou ki a ia.
On behalf of St Peter's College, Palmerston North, I would like to express our sadness at the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh. The Award is very popular here and is an amazing opportunity that hundreds of our students have taken up over the years. It has provided major self-development opportunities and teaches participants how to be resilient through life’s challenges. We look forward to continuing his legacy in our college.
Karen Pardo Solorzano
I am currently completing my Gold and I have gained my Bronze and Silver. I am also the student leader of the Award at St Peter's College in Palmerston North.
I would like to send my condolences and thanks to The Duke of Edinburgh and his family. Two of my three children have participated in the D of E Awards and have gained so much from it! My daughter was on a qualifying gold tramp when we heard the sad news. The D of E scheme is amazing for young people growing up. It should be mandatory for at least Bronze level in our schools. It teaches so many valuable life skills and shows those that don't know, what is out there in the world and how much they really are capable of.
Thank you greatly for your support of our children.
Parent of current Award participants
My thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the Royal Family in these hard times. I leave you with a quote from C.S. Lewis -
"A pleasure is not fully grown until it is remembered."
I would like to thank The Duke of Edinburgh for creating this Award. It has been the most amazing experience. I've learnt so much, connected with so many different people, and have really found a purpose. My Gold Adventurous Journey was one of the happiest moments in my life and I want to thank you for making that possible.
To The Royal Family, I am so very sorry for your loss, my heart goes out to you all.
Bronze and Silver Award holder, I will complete my Gold Award this year.
HRH, The Duke of Edinburgh, will be remembered with great appreciation and affection by our family. The attitudes, values and skills gained by our daughter Brigid will be a part of her for life. I am so thankful for the efforts of His Royal Highness in establishing and supporting this programme. Without it, it would have been very difficult for us to give her these experiences, appreciation for nature and the attitude of perseverance.
My daughter, Brigid Bernadine Wolf Wilson, was a Gold Award recipient in 2016.
Thank you for the foresight, vision and service. Creating an explorer mindset in young people is a wonderful gift to us all. May you rest in peace after a life lived well.
Bronze Award holder and my daughter has completed her Silver Award
Your creation of the Award has helped so many young people during your life and will continue to help them now that you have gone. There are few who can claim to have helped so many. You have left a legacy for others to aspire too.
This Award has been so much fun, it has given me the opportunities that I would probably not normally go for. HRH has created something that has changed my life and given me new beginnings.
Thank you for creating the Duke of Ed Award programme, it has been amazing to do. RIP Duke of Edinburgh.
Jaime Maybery, Current Gold Award participant
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh's death is a huge loss to both the Royal family and everyone who has ever participated in the Award. His founding of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has positively influenced the lives of many thousands of young people.
The Award encouraged us all to become active members of our local and global communities. It taught us to be independent and to take initiative, while also inspiring a passion for the outdoors. I would be a very different person to who I am today without the Award and wouldn't have discovered what I am most passionate about in life. I am so very grateful for The Duke of Edinburgh, and I hope that those most affected by his loss are gladdened by the massive impact his life has had on people around the globe. I offer my sincere condolences.
I'm working my way through the last stages of my Gold Award, having spent the last few years getting my Bronze and Silver Awards.
Phoebe Ozanne, Current Gold Award participant
In grateful thanks for all that the Duke of Edinburgh has done in service for his country, the Commonwealth, and in particular for young people, through The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Award Leader, Upper Hutt College
My heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty, The Queen, and the royal family on the passing of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. My great uncle had the honour of receiving his Gold Award from the Duke of Edinburgh himself during one of his visits to Fiji.
Current Bronze Award participant