The Central Okanagan will host royalty next month.
As part of the B.C. leg of their tour of Saskatchewan, B.C. and Ontario, the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and his wife, the Countess of Wessex, Sophie Rhys-Jones will visit West Kelowna and Kelowna Sept. 16, the last day of the B.C. portion of their tour.
The pair will visit Mission Hill Family Estate Winery in West Kelowna and present the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award to 21 youths from the Okanagan and Alberta.
The awards, named after Edward’s father, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, are given to young people aged 16 to 24, who set and accomplish personal goals in four or five different areas, including service, skill, physical recreation, adventurous journey and, for the gold level, a residential project. There are three levels—bronze, silver and gold—and completing each level can take between six months and a year.
After the Mission Hill event, the royal couple is scheduled to go to Cedar Creek Estate Winery in Kelowna to meet with regional forest fire first responders before returning to Mission Hill in the evening for a dinner Duke of Edinburgh’s Award dinner.
While in B.C. the count and countess will also participate in events in Victoria and Vancouver, as well as visit two First Nations communities on Vancouver Island.
The royal couple will arrive in B.C. on Sept. 12.