Two brothers were rewarded with a VIP trip to St James Palace after earning their gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Adam and Kuba Jasko, of Langley Green, have spent six years slogging their way through the tasks necessary to complete the award scheme from bronze to gold.
The brothers, aged 21 and 19 respectively, joined 300 young people at the palace to receive their certificates from the Duke himself.
The presentation fell the day before Adam’s 21st birthday and his mother Maja described it as “his best birthday gift, the one he will treasure for the rest of his life.”
Maja and her husband Tadek joined their sons in the banqueting room at the palace while they waited for the Duke to arrive. They were hosted by Royal correspondent Jennie Bond, who helped to keep any nerves at bay.
Maja said: “To our pleasant surprise the Duke did not look old or tired but full of vigour and with his well known sense of humour, addressing questions and remarks not only to the young people but also to the invited guests.”
As part of the work carried out towards the gold award, Kuba took part in a kayaking expedition in Scotland, including Loch Ness – a point which seemed to pique the Duke’s interest.
Maja added: “Adam and Kuba were the only ones in our group in Scout uniform and this may have prompted the Duke to stop longer by them and exchanged some remarks with Kuba about his kayaking on Loch Ness challenge.”
Adam’s work included acting as a helper in schools for Polish children who were still learning English.
The brothers are both at university, Adam is reading maths in Nottingham and Kuba is at Durham studying biological sciences.
Bursting with pride in her children, Maja said: “Going to the palace was lovely. I was dreaming about the Royal family when we got home.”
But the brothers have some competition – their younger sister Ania, 15, has just earned her bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. It looks as if another trip to the palace is on the cards.