By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia received a visit from British royalty today.
Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II and seventh in line to the throne, visited Girard College this afternoon to plant a tree in honor of his mother’s 60th year as queen.
He arrived in a truly royal fashion, with full escort, and greeted by hundreds of Girard College students of all ages.
“Thank you very much indeed, to all the students and staff of Girard College for making me feel very welcome here,” said his royal highness.
The students were excited that they had royalty on campus.
“I loved the accent!” one young woman said.
Edward, the Earl of Wessex, is chairman of the International Council of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Association, a youth development program that operates in 132 countries. The program launched in Philadelphia three years ago and now mentors 75 young people in the area, ages 14 to 25.
“Our program is really focused on the individual,” says Leslie Kase, who directs the program in Philadelphia, “and the individual chooses what area of interest they have in terms of skills and physicial recreation and outdoor camping. It’s all followed by outdoor camping, which is a highlight of the experience.”
Mayor Michael Nutter greeted Edward, stating that the visit was historic for Philadelphia. His royal highness and hizzoner planted a tree on the Girard campus.
King Edward VII, the prince’s great-great-grandfather, also planted a tree on the campus in 1860, to mark the kingdom’s relationship with the City of Brotherly Love.