Airing tonight, ‘When Phillip met Prince Philip: 60 Years of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’ takes a look at how The Duke of Edinburgh came to create his award for young people, whilst getting to know him a little better. Faces such as The Duchess of Cambridge, The Earl and Countess of Wessex, and Joanna Lumley make appearances in the show, which is hosted by ITV’s Phillip Schofield.
Celebrating its 60th year, the DofE Award was launched when Prince Philip was 35, and had been married to The Queen for seven years. Millions of young people spanning 141 countries and territories have done their DofE since 1956; in the UK alone, over 2.5 million Awards have been achieved by young people.
Schofield was initially nervous to meet the Prince: “I think the best way to engage him will be to talk about his biggest passions – horses and the awards,” he says says as he prepares to meet the Prince for the first time.
“Even though I’m dressed in the correct attire, got to admit that nerves are slightly getting the better of me.”
It seems there was nothing to worry about, and soon got on his good side: “[Prince Philip] was absolutely lovely. He’s got a great sense of humour. At 95 he’s still very funny. He was joking ‘Oh bloody hell, not you again,’ he was very friendly.”
In the show, Joanna Lumley says she thinks the Duke is, in fact, shy. “He is incredible fun to be with, but he is quite shy. I’ve seen him go ‘Oh God, I’ve got to do that.’ I’ve actually heard him saying that. But then he pulls himself together,head up, chin out, off her goes, does it.”
— Phillip Schofield (@Schofe) September 19, 2016
The Duke’s granddaughter-in-law, Catherine, completed her Gold Award at school. She recounts a story of trying to cook bacon in the rain on an expedition. Part of the highest accolade means spending time outdoors on an expedition, including camping.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who completed a Diamond Challenge of cycling from Holyroodhouse to Buckingham Palace, gives her view on The Queen and Philip’s relationship, and how he supports her.
“So he makes her laugh?” Schofield asks the Countess.
“Oh gosh, yes!” she replies.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex spoke about the global reach of the DofE as well as their own roles in the continuing success of the charity. It is expected they will be created The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh after the passing of both The Queen and Prince to continue the award.
Schofield was impressed with Philip’s stamina, as he followed the Duke around for a few days for filming: “There were days when I was shadowing him and talking to people he had spoken to and by the end of it, my feet were bloody killing me,” the TV presenter said to Hello!.
“I’ve got an achy back and he’s shaken 5,000 hands and walks out of the ground at the end and walks across to me.
“Yes, there’s Royal duty, but nevertheless, he’s blessed with some extraordinary James Bond-esque type genes. He’s sharp as a tack, his memory is fearsome, his humour is razor sharp and he was extraordinary in the amount of time he would spend with people.”
Famous for his scathing treatment of journalists, Prince Philip seemed to get on with Schofield, displaying his sense of humour when he was told the presenter was going to do a wing-walk to raise money for the award.
“I agreed to do a challenge Sir… I’m going to wing walk… For you, Sir.”
“Who is trying to get rid of you?” the Duke asked drily. “Are you going stand there on the wing saying ‘hello folks’? I wouldn’t open your mouth if I were you, in case it ends up like a balloon.”
“I’d get a mouthful of bees,” Schofield laughed.
He also advised the presenter not to open his mouth whilst on the plane – in case anything ‘not transmissable’ came out.
At one point in the programme, at a garden party, the Prince gestures for his ‘shadow’ to come over. Fearing a telling off, Phillip was actually introduced to “a fellow idiot,” as the Prince described it – a man who has skydived.
The documentary airs at 9pm tonight on ITV. Let us know what you think of it!