There’s nothing like a right royal venue for a right royal presentation.
Round Green teenagers Lizzy Fretwell and Elena Sharples were thrilled to be invited to St James’ Palace to receive their Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards.
Lizzy, 18, said: “Every room was decorated in golds and red and there was a band playing as we went up the stairs.
“Staff made us feel really welcome and told us we should be very proud of our achievements as only only a small number of young people in the country get as far as Gold.”
She added: “Professor Howard Williamson CBE presented the awards, then Prince Philip came in to the room.
“He was very funny and made everyone laugh. He put us all at our ease and really wanted to hear about our experiences.”
Lizzy was encouraged to go for it by her mother Sian, herself a gold award winner.
“Mum really enjoyed it and said it was a lot of fun and a great opportunity, as well as a good thing for your CV,” she explained.
So Lizzy and her childhood chum Elena signed up for bronze when they were at Stopsley High School. They passed with flying colours and went on to take silver.
They completed their gold award through Active Luton at Luton Sixth Form College.
This had five sections, including an expedition.
Lizzy and her group spent five days camping in the Peak District. She recalled: “It was quite hard because you had to carry everything you needed.”
But there was one moment of light relief when they thought they spotted the infamous naked rambler strolling in the distance. “That was quite amusing,” she said.
She’s delighted to have her certificate and badge: “It makes it more real, something we’ve actually achieved.”
A keen member of St Andrews’ Players, Lizzy has a place at Royal Holloway next year to read drama.
She has her sights set on becoming a director and hopefully her new award will open a few doors.