Must not mention that young people often enjoy taking risks
"The possibility of death is what makes the Duke of Edinburgh Award popular, Prince Edward said yesterday while commenting on an Australian schoolboy's agonising death while lost in the bush. Edward's comments have made him a target for the British press who are comparing him to his gaffe-prone father, Prince Philip.
In an interview with The Australian yesterday Prince Edward was asked about Sydney schoolboy David Iredale, who died in December 2006 in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. Iredale was on a bushwalk he undertook without supervision as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award, a program that rewards young people for doing outdoor challenges.
The Queen's youngest son who is seventh in line to the British throne and chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, said the scheme remains popular because it offers the possibility of deadly danger.
The Prince said he was not aware of the circumstances of the Iredale case, but recounted that when a young man died while participating in a Duke of Edinburgh activity in Britain in the program's early years, interest in the scheme soared. "All the trustees were convinced that (the boy's death) was the end of it, that it would never go any further," Prince Edward said. "And Lord Hunt, the man who masterminded the first successful ascent of Everest and was first director of the award, said: 'No, no, no, do nothing ... Just wait and see."'
The prince recalled that, in the days following the death, the number of inquiries from young people wanting to learn more about the award and how they could get involved skyrocketed. "And he (Lord Hunt) said, 'There you go, that's typical young people'," Prince Edward said.
The same thing happens when a tourist gets eaten by a crocodile in Northern Australia: Tourism enquiries soar.