SIX Sheffield schoolfriends were given a right Royal welcome by the Earl of Wessex - when they received their prized Duke of Edinburgh gold awards.
Katie Williams, Chris Elliott, Molly Gill, Brandon Archer, Charlotte Hoyland, Gabriella Arobile and Kathryn Sawyer all started on the scheme when they were pupils at Westfield Sports College four years ago.
Now all aged 17 and 18 and studying at different colleges, they stayed the course to achieve their bronze, silver and finally gold awards.
The presentations for the teenagers from Waterthorpe, Beighton, Mosborough and Halfway, were made in front of proud friends and family at St James’ Palace in London.
“They all became friends while on the award scheme and there is now a really close bond between them,” said Judy Williams, Katie’s mother.
The final stage of the award saw the six get involved in a variety of community projects, including a sponsored swim for the Children’s Hospital and work for the Disability Games.
They also completed a five- day 50-mile trek in the Scottish highlands through bogs and torrential rain - plagued by midges.