Prince Edward -- 7th in line to the British throne, youngest child of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, 48-year-old kid brother to Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne -- comes to Baltimore Tuesday NOT to discuss his biggest claim to fame, that he's also father of a 7-year-old royal wedding bridesmaid.
HRH The Prince Edward, as he is formally known, won’t be discussing the little bridesmaid, Lady Louise Windsor, or the royal wedding at all, as my colleague Erica Green learned.
Green is covering the prince’s visit, and organizers instructed her to submit any questions she had for the prince in writing. They rejected her query about what Prince Edward got Kate and Will as a wedding gift and said he would be mum on the topic of the royal wedding.
“He doesn’t need to fly to Baltimore to tell people about the wedding,” said Todd Ruppert, president of T. Rowe Price International, who invited Prince Edward to come to Baltimore for reasons that, well, OK, are a little more important than the wedding, but still!
Prince Edward will be here announce that a youth program begun by his father in 1956 is coming to Baltimore. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award challenges people ages 14 to 25 to complete a number of community service projects, physical activities, outward-bound type adventures and pursuits that require special skills, such as playing the violin or carpentry.
Much like aspiring Eagle Scouts, participants work for months and even years and eventually earn bronze, silver or gold medals.
The program, which is meant to boost confidence, motivation and a sense of self-worth, is active in 132 countries. It arrived in the United States four years ago, but in a piecemeal fashion, said Ruppert, a member of the board of directors for The Duke of Edinburgh Award – Young Americans' Challenge.
The aim is to take the program across the country by inviting national groups such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs to participate.
“We’re starting here in Baltimore with organizations that are national in scope,” Ruppert said. “Baltimore is going to be the epicenter of getting this going. So it’s a big plus for Baltimore.”
If you’re wondering how Baltimore snagged this prominent role, Ruppert said he “had the opportunity to meet people in the royal family a number of years ago.”
Do royals need investment advice?
“It wasn’t investments,” he said. “I was invited as a guest to a dinner and met some people in the royal family and it just went on from there.”
All well and good, but couldn’t we get just a teensy bit more about that wedding?
“He is absolutely, genuinely committed to this,” Ruppert said. “This is his baby, working closely with his father. That’s what he wants to focus on.”Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun