Slovaks recall the Duke of Edinburgh’s sense of humour

What was it like to meet Prince Philip? Some Slovaks know well.

Prince Philip and young people who took part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award talk at Buckingham Palace in 2012.Prince Philip and young people who took part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award talk at Buckingham Palace in 2012. (Source: DofE)

It was because of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, which he completed in Great Britain, and a meeting with Prince Philip in the nineties, that Matej Sapák, a young Slovak student keen on physics and informatics, found the courage to apply for Harvard.

“That experience opened my eyes,” Sapák, now the headmaster of the LEAF Academy, said.

Millions of young people, including Slovaks, have challenged themselves, acquired life skills and helped their communities through the Award Scheme, a global youth development program co-founded by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1956. Sapák is a gold award holder.

“It allowed me to think about what a man could do if he had a little luck, perseverance and was looking for ways to do additional things on top of the usual,” the headmaster added.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

Illustrative stock photo

Economy grew slightly in beginning of the year, analysts pleasantly surprised

Slovak economy remained above zero in the first quarter of 2021, growth reached 0.3 percent.

2 h

Burst reservoir in central Slovakia claims one life

The water also damaged about twenty cars, some were moved several dozens of metres.

5 h
Štefan Holý

Changes to public procurement submitted for interdepartmental review

The changes proposed by Deputy PM Štefan Holý were criticised at first.

17. máj

News digest: Ministry promises to solve problem with vaccine certificates

New Covid automat rules become effective. Carmaker Stellantis suspended production again.

19 h