The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme is very active in Guernsey and encourages young people to do voluntary work and try new activities.
Local scheme manager Rebecca Silk said that through the award, the Duke had touched the lives of so many young people.
‘In the last five years, 1,000 young people have completed their Duke of Edinburgh’s award,’ she said.
‘The Duke was always really active with the award and young people often met and spoke with him when they were presented with their awards at Buckingham Palace [until this was largely taken over by Prince Edward].
‘He was able to give young people a great love of the outdoors and sense of ambition, as well as team building skills.’
Colonel Richard Graham was ADC to the Lt-Governor from 1998 to 2012. As well as meeting the Duke on two royal visits, he also met him on a number of other occasions.
‘I thought he was a great bloke,’ he said.
‘He was immense fun away from the formality of life. On a personal level, he was always the most stimulating company and always up for a joke. He quite liked winding people up, in a nice way.’
On one royal visit, the Queen and the Duke stayed at Government House.
A few weeks before, the royal household helped prepare staff for the visit. When Col. Graham checked what the Duke might like for breakfast, he was told the Duke would take a healthy breakfast, such as muesli, in his room.
That night, when the royal couple came back from the state dinner, the Duke stayed up with Col. Graham for a chat. Before he went to bed, he asked what was the form for breakfast and was told it would be a healthy breakfast in his room.
‘He turned around, with a twinkle in the eye, and asked if he could have a fry-up,’ Mr Graham said.
‘So he came down in the morning and had a fried breakfast with the rest of us, before the Queen came down.’
He said the Duke was very down to earth and a good conversationalist.
‘You had to be quite astute to what was going on around you when he was there,’ he said.
‘He was not relaxing company, but it was entertaining stuff. I think it’s an end of an era with him gone.’
Former Bailiff Sir Geoffrey Rowland was Deputy Bailiff when he met the Duke on his last official visit to the island in 2005. However he also met him around 10 years ago, when the new 201 Squadron standard was presented at RAF Kinloss.
‘He has excelled in a unique role,’ Sir Geoffrey said.
‘His service has been conspicuous and exemplary. We are surely aware of his service as an unwavering stalwart companion – at her majesty’s side and always on her side.’