I shall be forever grateful for the start I had in life being one of the first girls in the U.K. to gain the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award. Now almost 77. I was invited to Buckingham Palace to collect my award from the Duke - this was 1964. I went along with my parents and my Boss from work, Standard Telephones where I worked sponsored me. When I got there I found that I was the one being presented to the Duke to collect the awards for the other girls. The Duke asked me what I liked and disliked about the 3 years previous when I had been trying to reach my goal, I said I enjoyed the weeks away at the Constance Spry School in Great Windsor Park and the Nursing Certificates I had gained but didn’t like the Mountaineering, he looked as said why? I answered because my feet were killing me, he burst out laughing and I felt so relaxed talking to him I forgot who he was, we talked for about 15 mins and he was absolutely wonderful. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is such a wonderful thing and I am sure it set me up for life. R.I.P your Royal Highness.