Tea and cake in Buckingham Palace gardens

Tuesday 19 July 2022

In the run-up to the Platinum Jubilee weekend, selected alumni got to rub shoulders with royalty when they attended a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award celebration in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.

Fifteen of our former students were invited to the special celebration event in recognition of their superb achievement in completing the Gold DofE Award.  This was the first time in a couple of years that the event has taken place, having been cancelled previously due to Covid. 

The Earl of Wessex hosted the event and there were speeches from the steps of the Palace from the Weasley brothers.  Amongst the special guests speaking on the satellite stages in the gardens was Nick Hewer from The Apprentice, who gave some great advice on careers.  For the first time guests were given refreshments – a cup of tea and a cupcake – and there was the chance to relax with garden games whilst listening to the royal bands.

“The experience was amazing,” said Oscar Birney, who left Emmanuel College in 2021.  “The gardens were incredible – and a lot bigger than I had expected!”

“It was exciting to be there at a time when construction and rehearsals were well under way for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee,” he added.  “My best memory of the event has to be the two royal brass bands which were playing all day, making the event feel so special.”

The four students pictured are Jack Foley, Oscar Birney, and Kate and Laura Smith.