Rod Gilbert, Greg Belton, Prince Edward
and Mark Standish
Prince Edward with George and Georgia
Prince Edward flanked by Mark Standish and
Liz Pearce and Jacob Clemente of
Broadway’s Billy Elliot
Miss America with George and Georgia
The Prince and his fans
Royal Family Presents Youth
With A Hand Up,
RINCE EDWARD, Earl of Wessex, presided
over a gala dinner in June at the Pierre Hotel in New York to
benefit the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award-Young Americans’ Challenge.
The award was founded in 1956
by Prince Edward’s father, Prince Philip, the Duke of
Edinburgh, who is the Queen’s husband. The aim is to empower young
people, ages 14 to 25, to develop special skills and contribute to
community service in 132 countries. There are 3,000 participants in
the United States where Josh Randle is the national executive
"The award gives young people
the opportunity to succeed in life," Prince Edward said. "My father
still keeps an eye on it. I just do all the traveling."
Royal Bank of Canada is a
major supporter and Mark Standish, president and co-CEO of
RBC Capital Markets, served as emcee of the evening. He gave full
credit for the evening’s success to the indefatigable Catherine
Saxton. The room burst into applause for high society’s
Standish said that the award
challenges young people "to work toward their ambitions and
Randle said self-reliance,
commitment and service to community are prime factors in earning the
award. He presented Fred Obala of Uganda, a former child
soldier who overcame his dire circumstances and ultimately earned a
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Randle also introduced
Elisee Etienne of the Doe Fund, and Teresa Scanlon Miss
America 2011, both of whom are working on the requirements for a
U.S. Duke of Edinburgh Award.
He noted that Teresa, 17, is
the youngest Miss America in its 70-year history.
"I voted for her!" exclaimed
a proud Marilu Henner who was a judge at the contest last
January in Las Vegas.
At this royal event Miss
America 2011 was the only one who wore a crown! She was beaming with
unrestrained pride as Prince Edward reached out for her hand.