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28th May 2024

A Royal Week at Oakham School

DofE trip to Buckingham Palace

In what was a very memorable week for Oakham School DofE, on the morning of May 13th, 22 Old Oakhamians and one current Form 7 pupil joined around 2,000 Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award holders as guests of honour in Buckingham Palace Gardens for a very special event to celebrate their achievements.

Buckingham Palace Gardens were transformed into a festival-style celebration with giant deckchairs, bunting, and garden games and activities. This celebration recognised young people who showed extraordinary perseverance, commitment and resilience to complete their Gold DofE.

Famous DofE Award holders and other inspirational speakers, including astronaut Tim Peake, took to the stage at various locations around the gardens.

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, a Gold award holder himself, congratulated the award holders in a speech from the Palace’s West Terrace, going on to then greet the crowds, asking award holders about their own DofE journeys.

To achieve their Gold DofE award, participants must complete 12 months of volunteering, various physical, skill-based and residential challenges and a demanding four-day expedition. At Oakham School this expedition can be walking, canoeing, sailing or cycling.

We would like to congratulate our current and past students on such a fantastic achievement and we are sure these young people will go on to achieve great things in the future.

Their Royal Highnesses visit Rutland

The following day brought their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, to Oakham in their first visit to Rutland. Arriving by helicopter they were met at Oakham Castle by a crowd who welcomed them with lots of enthusiastic flag waving. After presenting a double horseshoe to mark a long-standing county tradition, the Duke and Duchess met with local students who are participating in the DofE award. Mr Powell and Mrs Fearn accompanied ten dedicated Oakham students who are all working towards or have achieved their Bronze, Silver or Gold awards.

The Duke and Duchess were keen to hear about the range of activities that our students had undertaken in order to complete each section of their award. They also took the time to ask how summer examinations were going before continuing on to view the recently unveiled statue of the late Queen Elizabeth II and her corgis.

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