(NCS) — Edward, Earl of Wessex, pops his head round the door of the room in St James’s Palace and chuckles at the quite a few cameras arrange for the interview. “Do you have enough?” he laughs.

The Queen’s youngest youngster, 57, appears to be in good spirits on this wonderful summer time day in London regardless of the event. Thursday would have been the one hundredth birthday of Edward’s father, Prince Philip, and he’s marking the date by reflecting on the Duke of Edinburgh’s legacy and his eponymous Award program.

But there’s an elephant in the room. Hours earlier than NCS’s US unique sit-down with the Earl, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been forced to deny a report in the British media that they’d not consulted the Queen about utilizing her childhood nickname of Lilibet for their newborn daughter.

Headlines probing the relationship between the Sussexes and the remainder of the household have been frequent since the couple relinquished their roles as working royals final yr and relocated to California. Responding to a query about present household tensions, the Earl says the state of affairs is “very sad.”

“Listen, weirdly we’ve all been there before — we’ve all had excessive intrusion and attention in our lives. And we’ve all dealt with it in slightly different ways, and listen, we wish them the very best of luck. It’s a really hard decision,” Edward says.

Harry and Meghan have usually spoken about the pressures of royal life and being consistently scrutinized by the media. In a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, the Duke stated the relentless scrutiny was one in all the deciding components in the household’s transfer to the United States. In her dialogue with Winfrey, the Duchess additionally revealed she had contemplated suicide throughout her first being pregnant and that there had been questions over the skin color of their then-unborn son, Archie.

Edward says he hopes the couple are pleased earlier than returning to the topic of the rift, suggesting disagreements occur in each household.

“It’s difficult for everyone but that’s families for you,” he says.

For a number of causes, it has been a difficult few months for Britain’s royal household, who’re nonetheless mourning the loss of their patriarch in April. Due to Covid-19 measures at the time, the funeral preparations have been significantly scaled again by royal requirements, and the variety of attendees restricted to simply 30 folks.

“It was an experience that so many other families have had to go through during this past year or 18 months and so in that sense, it was particularly poignant,” says Edward. “There are an awful lot of people who haven’t been able to express the respect that they would like to have done. I think many people would have liked to have been there to support the Queen.”

The Queen carries on

Following the Queen’s lead, as all the time, senior royal members of the family have since returned to their duties and are as soon as once more fulfilling a busy schedule of video calls and in-person engagements.

Asked how the 95-year-old monarch is faring following the lack of her husband of 73 years, Edward responds that she is “actually doing remarkably well.”

“I think that it was a fantastic partnership, but over the last couple of weeks, life has got considerably busier. Things are beginning to open up more, there are more activities so weirdly that sort of fills any particular void,” he stated.

“I think there are going to be other times further along the year where I think that it will become a bit more poignant and a bit harder. But at the moment, thank you very much indeed for asking, I think that everybody’s in pretty good shape really, and just working rather too hard.”

“Rather too hard” could also be one thing of an understatement. The monarch — regardless of her advancing age — has constantly maintained a demanding diary lately. Even earlier than the coronavirus upended life in the UK final March, she had performed 296 engagements between 2019 and 2020.

Unable to do all the things herself, the monarch leans on a number of generations of shut members of the family to finish greater than 3,000 engagements each at residence and overseas annually.

President Biden and Queen Elizabeth to fulfill

Edward and his spouse, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, are more and more taking part in a extra energetic function in supporting the Queen following Harry and Meghan’s relocation to California, in addition to Prince Andrew’s withdrawal from public duties over his affiliation with convicted intercourse offender Jeffrey Epstein.

“Trying to be there as a friendly ear at times is, absolutely, is really important,” Edward says.

One vital assembly on the Queen’s books this week is her first face-to-face with US President Joe Biden, who’s in Britain for the newest G7 summit. Their assembly on Sunday might be the first between the two leaders since Biden took workplace in January — and he might be the 14th US commander-in-chief with whom she’s met.

Edward says the get-together is a “perfect opportunity” for the pair to fulfill.

“We’ve all, as a family, had very close links with America. We spent or we used to, not so much now, but we used to spend a lot of time going backwards and forwards, maintaining those links, the connections, the heritage … (we’ve) been through a lot together. And that’s what really good friendship is about.”

What the pair will focus on is anybody’s guess, together with his. The incontrovertible fact that conversations with the monarch keep non-public on this day and age “is a bit strange,” Edward says.

“People really do respect the fact that this is a genuinely private, off-the-record conversation so they really can talk about things and get to the heart of things and in a very genuine fashion, because they know it’s not going to come out.”

Philip and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Instead, what the royals have all the time made certain to champion publicly is their dedication to public service, an space wherein Prince Philip was one thing of an innovator. Arguably his biggest achievement was his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award — a youth growth program he established in 1956.

“It’s a framework of activities. It was said to encourage young people and adults to get involved in non-formal activities or out-of-classroom learning,” Edward says. “And in fact, it empowered each adults and younger folks to take management of their destinies, and it does not matter the place in the world that younger individual or that grownup is, it is the similar.

“And hence the reason why I think it’s spread to 130 countries, and it’s doing particularly well in the States. It was a bit of a late start over there but it’s brilliant. And what’s really exciting about what’s going on in the States is that nearly 50% of the people involved are from what we would call at risk or marginalized, disadvantaged young people, which is, which is brilliant because those are young people that can really benefit from this.”

Many of the program’s alumni communicate fondly of their experiences.

“What I really liked about it is that the award is so diversified, there’s so many different components to it,” says Kristina Ayanian, a 24-year-old senior listings analyst at NASDAQ, who holds a Bronze, Silver and Gold Award from The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

“One of the highlights that I had was volunteering at my local food pantry from my Bronze Medal Award, and seeing how food insecurity is so prominent in our lives. That connection to giving back to my community really stayed with me.”

Ayanian has since continued her work with starvation reduction, organising a meals drive in Boston when the pandemic struck, working with native companies and people to help shelters and hospitals in the metropolis.

“I partnered with corporations, distributors, restaurants, and dedicated individuals really to do our part in helping our community during these trying times. But it all stems from this award and the impact that it really made on my life,” she says.

‘It was about different folks’

Ayanian says the program’s present-day worldwide attain is a vital a part of Prince Philip’s legacy.

“He has made such a impact on, not only youth in the UK, but globally, and I think that that’s what’s so impressive with his work,” she says. “I truly believe in the Award, that it’s going to keep succeeding and keep having representatives to carry it on through future generations. And I’m proud to be a part of his legacy. It’s really an honor.”

One consultant persevering with his Award journey is 19-year-old Víctor Echániz. Part of the program for the previous 5 years, the Berklee College of Music double main pupil can be presently serving as an Alumni Award Leader at the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award USA whereas finishing his personal Gold Award degree.

“For me it’s one of the best things you can do as a young adult,” Echániz says. “You also go on these adventurous journeys where you get to work on your leadership, on your team building, and on your exploration, and seek out new passions.”

He says he is grateful that the Duke of Edinburgh created the program. “He will go down as someone who has helped millions of young adults transform themselves and develop into better people and aware citizens.”

Edward, too, sees his father’s legacy in the many lives he quietly helped to alter.

“He was always, always incredibly self-effacing wasn’t he? It was about other people. He just gave them the nudge, the encouragement and off they go,” he says. “And tragically, it wasn’t till he handed away that everyone went, Wow, that is what he did. And in fact, it is too late — (he) by no means discovered. But then, I believe that if he had made it to his one hundredth birthday, a variety of that may have come out, and it will have been beautiful to for him to have heard it himself.

“But then again, because he was just so self-effacing, he just wouldn’t have wanted the fuss and the bother … that wasn’t him, that was just not him at all.”

This story was first revealed on NCS.com, “‘That’s families for you.’ Prince Edward discusses the Sussexes, the bereaved Queen and his father’s legacy.”

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