HRH The Princess Royal awards Prince Philip Medal at last event for the Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College


Loughborough, Leicestershire - HRH The Princess Royal was warmly welcomed at the final Annual General Inspection (AGI) at the Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College on Saturday (3 July) as part of the graduation of 115 upper-sixth form students as they go on to become technical officers and engineers within defence.

HRH The Princess Royal awards Prince Philip Medal at last event for the Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College

HRH The Princess Royal spoke with students and their families of the final class under the Defence Technical Officer and Engineer Entry Scheme (DTOEES). HRH The Princess Royal's attendance during the final AGI was particularly poignant, as the late HRH Duke of Edinburgh took a close interest in the college linked to his passion for engineering. Following a visit to the college at its former site in Nottinghamshire in July 1993, he instigated the Prince Philip Medal to be awarded to the most outstanding student in the senior year.

During the event, HRH The Princess Royal awarded the 27th Prince Philip Medal to Jess Leat, the student who best demonstrated the high standards and values of the college. In addition, HRH attended the inspection and the passing out parade, and oversaw the distribution of two additional awards to students.

Jess Leat, Prince Philip Medal recipient, said: "It was an honour to be the last DTOEES student to receive this prestigious award, especially from HRH The Princess Royal. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Welbeck and wish to thank all the staff and students who made it all such good fun. I am looking forward to the next step of my career – going to Loughborough University, where I will be reading electronic and electrical engineering."

Major General Andrew Roe, Chair of the Board of Governors and Chief Executive and Commandant of the Defence Academy, said: "Congratulations to all who successfully completed the final DTOEES programme at Welbeck. Excellence in STEM is critically important for defence. As the pace of technological change is accelerating, having the best technical officers and civil servants is key to keeping our edge. As the last class at Welbeck, it was a privilege to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to this final AGI and I hope one day to welcome you all to the Defence Academy as you continue your careers in defence."

Howard Blackett, Principal Welbeck DSFC, said: "It was a great honour to have had HRH The Princess Royal with us for our final AGI and, in particular, I was delighted to be able to introduce her to a number of students, parents and staff after the parade itself – it was a fitting finale to mark the closure of the college."

Run on behalf of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College held its final Annual General Inspection on Saturday (3 July). It will be replaced by the Defence STEM Undergraduate Sponsorship (DSUS) scheme, which will now be able to recruit from universities across the UK. The first students under DSUS will join in September 2022.

The 3 July final AGI for Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College followed current HMG Covid-19 policies to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.