HRH The Countess of Wessex shows support to Czech youth in fulfilling their dreams

HRH The Countess of Wessex shows support to Czech youth in fulfilling their dreams

Press news

21. May 2015

This Wednesday afternoon was truly extraordinary for forty young Czechs. They were presented Gold Awards for completing The Duke of Edinburgh´s International Award (DofE) by Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex. The ceremony was the last event of the two-day visit of The Countess during which she visited local secondary school, met with successful Czech women and familiarized herself with the Czech fashion.

DofE Participants accompanied The Countess during most of the events, which was unforgettable experience for all of them. “I am very happy I had the opportunity to collect the award from The Countess. It is one of the many great things which I would have never experienced if I hadn’t joined DofE,“ said Dominika Kouřilová, Czech DofE Award participant.

The Countess appreciated the students’ hard work and appealed to them to try and find their true calling. “It will largely determine your success and satisfaction in life,“ said The Countess and added: 

"We are very pleased that we could welcome Her Royal Highness in the Czech Republic again, two years after her previous visit. Thanks to the Royal Visit we could give a unique experience to forty ambitious young people who were awarded by The Countess in person. Furthermore, the Royal Visit was a recognition of the success and development of the Czech DofE Award over the last two years and a reminder of our 20 year anniversary," said Jiří Zrůst, Director of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and Chairman of the Executive Board of the Czech DofE Award.

The Countess also met with Czech Minister of Education Marcel Chládek to whom she introduced the DofE Foundation. Activities of the Czech branch of DofE were presented by the successful Czech mountaineer Klára Kolouchová. Minister also met with the DofE Award participants who described their interesting journey on which they have embarked by joining the DofE Award. „I am always happy to support good projects like this one. We are glad to show that by connecting the formal and non-formal education we can motivate people to life-long learning, personal as well as professional growth and mostly to continual civic engagement,“ stated the minister.

Her Royal Highness visited also Duhovka, a secondary school in Prague. The students were delighted to have an opportunity to meet The Countess, enthusiastically presenting the projects they are currently working on. Ondřej Lochman was excited by the great interest The Countess took in the students’ activities as well as by the lively discussion.

The visit itinerary included also a meeting with successful Czech women. The Countess discussed the possibilities of supporting young women’s career development with Biljana Weber, CEO of Miscrosoft CR, Jaroslava Jermanová, Vice-Chair of the Chamber of Deputies of Parliament of the Czech Republic and Jane Townsend, Managing partner, Central Europe at Allen & Overy and Member of the DofE supervisory board.

The Countess also participated at several social events such as fundraising dinner. The collected money will be used for support of socially disadvantaged DofE Award participants as well as training the new DofE Award Leaders that are helping young people making their dreams come true.

The Countess visited boutiques of the two Czech famous fashion designers Taťána Kovaříková and Klára Nademlýnská, who presented their student´s work as well as their own collections.

On Wednesday afternoon, The Countess returned to Great Britain. She brought a unique gift from the Czech Republic, a crystal sculpture with decorations symbolizing British flag. The piece of art was created by students of glass making school in Kamenický Šenov involved in the DofE Award.

Notes to Editors:

The Duke of Edinburgh´s International Award is a worldwide award for young people aged 14 to 24 that motivates and supports them in their personal development. Young people set their own goals in four sections – Skills, Physical Recreation, Service and Adventurous Journey – and strive to achieve them with the help of an adult mentor. Millions of students around the world have joined the Award. In the Czech Republic, nearly 1,000 young people have participated in it. For more information go to

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