A ST BRIAVELS teenager celebrated her gold Duke of Edinburgh Award achievement by attending a reception at Buckingham Palace.

Lauren Bennett, 19, met the Duke of Edinburgh when she joined thousands of other young people from across the UK who had completed the award in a festival-style celebration in the palace’s garden.

Hosted by Prince Edward, who is patron of the charity that empowers young people to improve their skills and grow in confidence, he recognised Lauren’s Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award achievement when he spoke to her.

The celebration at the Palace recognised the efforts made by over 8,000 young people who’ve shown extraordinary perseverance, creativity and resilience to complete their gold award in schools, community organisations, youth groups and workplaces, all over the UK.

The celebration saw the Duke congratulate attendees told them that he received his own Gold Award from his father Prince Philip.

Sharing her experience of meeting Prince Edward, Lauren, who is also a Duke of Edinburgh Youth Ambassador, said: “Having the opportunity to meet the Duke was an unparalleled privilege. It was incredibly special to share this moment with my mum who also had the opportunity to speak with Prince Edward.”

Lauren then expressed what she found most difficult and stated: “I found the skill section as the most challenging, and developing a sexual harassment campaign within my school, I looked to improve my project management skills.”

During their interaction, the Duke and Lauren expressed a common interest in ensuring more young people continue their connection with the awards, and spoke about the developments of the Global Award Alumni Network.

Prince Edward
ALL SMILES: The Duke of Edinburg in conversation with Lauren Bennett, watched by organiser Ruth Marvel. (Submitted)

Buckingham Palace Garden was transformed into a festival-style celebration with giant deckchairs, bunting and garden games and activities.

Attendees also had the chance to hear from other award holders such as broadcaster Clive Myrie, rugby legend Alun Wyn Jones, Strictly Come Dancing stars Kai Widdrington and Nadiya Bychkova, disabled adventurer Darren Edwards, presenter and influencer Lucy Edwards, para-athlete Milly Pickles and DJ and television presenter Melvin Odoom giving inspirational talks at stages throughout the garden.