Prince Edward was surrounded by excited students today as he arrived in Brighton to speak to some of those taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

The Prince, who was made Duke of Edinburgh in March, spoke to staff and students at Bhasvic in Dyke Road before visiting Albion’s training ground in Lancing and Boulder Brighton in Portslade.

During his trip to the sixth form college, the royal was surrounded by students excited to see him, some of who applauded, cheered and called out his name.

The Argus: The Duke of Edinburgh was mobbed by students at BhasvicThe Duke of Edinburgh was mobbed by students at Bhasvic (Image: The Argus/Andrew Gardner)

The prince donned an orange apron and was put to work in the kitchen where he tried his hand at making some pastries and also packaged a cupcake for sale - but not without some trepidation about making a mess.

He spoke at length with the young people about the work they are doing for their Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which involves physical, skills and volunteering elements.

After talking to them about some of the “blisters and tears” along the way when completing the project, Prince Edward said: “The brilliant thing about humans is we forget pain very quickly.

“So as long as you remember the good bits and you’ve got a few good stories to tell and you’ve had some fun.”

The Argus: The Duke packaged cupcakes with students at BhasvicThe Duke packaged cupcakes with students at Bhasvic (Image: The Argus)

Fleur Hunt, who is taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, was one of the students showing the duke around parts of the college.

She said the pressure was “nerve-wracking” but said: “He’s very calm. It was nice that he properly spoke to everyone.”

Fleur said the duke took great interest in her choice of physical activity for the project - kickboxing.

As it happened: Duke of Edinburgh visits Brighton

Basil Chirathilattu, an ambassador for the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards scheme, said it helped him form new friendships and get new skills.

He said: “It’s great - not only do you learn new skills but you go out of your comfort zone into areas you are not used to. It creates a huge experience that is so beneficial in your life later on.”

William Baldwin, principal at Bhasvic, said it was a “real privilege” to host the duke and said: “Our students were fantastic in making him feel welcome and sharing their stories.

“The duke has really made our students feel special and encouraged them. It was brilliant to see him draw a crowd and for him to engage with them.

“It’s really exciting that Bhasvic’s Duke of Edinburgh work has been chosen for the duke to see and I think it highlights something special has been going on here - that’s been about trying to reduce barriers for students to get involved, particularly from low-income backgrounds but also to have meaningful partnerships within our community so the volunteering work has an impact.”

The Argus: The Duke of Edinburgh was presented with an Albion shirt by Paul BarberThe Duke of Edinburgh was presented with an Albion shirt by Paul Barber (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

Prince Edward also visited Albion’s elite performance centre in Lancing to meet young academy footballers doing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award alongside their training, including watching them train.

The duke, who arrived in Sussex by helicopter, was greeted by Brighton’s deputy chairman and chief executive Paul Barber and other Brighton staff outside at 12.30pm.

He noted how “the training ground was in a very different place compared to the last time” he visited Sussex in 2015.

The Argus: A group picture at the training centreA group picture at the training centre (Image: The Argus)

Some of the under-15 players gave a presentation of their recent expedition in the Lake District, Cumbria.

Academy players took on a three-day hike along with players from other club’s academies and said they were constantly rained on apart from the final day.

Connor Austin, 14, said: “It was really good. The expedition taught us loads of valuable skills. It was nice meeting the Duke of Edinburgh because he embodies those skills that he has to use every day. He was really nice.”

Tobi Akapo, 14, said: “The experience was tough but it was good to be with everyone else. We did 35km in three days.”

Bode Newnham-Reeve, 14, said: “Our first day was just a practice, we had an instructor teaching us to use a map and compass. We didn’t get any blisters luckily, just wet shoes.”

The Argus: The Duke of Edinburgh speaking to students at the centreThe Duke of Edinburgh speaking to students at the centre (Image: PA)

Paul Barber said: “It is always a great pleasure to host His Royal Highness, it’s the second time I have had the pleasure of hosting him. The first time was at the Amex Stadium in 2015, we hosted a lunch for him and his wife.

“Today it was fantastic to show what we do here at the training ground. Also for the young boys to showcase what they have learnt on the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme, how their communication and leadership skills have improved.

“He was very astute to recognise the club has progressed a lot since his last visit.”

Kesh Purcell, one of the young footballers, said: “I gained so much from doing my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award including working on key interpersonal skills such as teamwork, communication and resilience.

“Our expedition was challenging but we worked together and overcame the difficult moments. I feel much stronger and more confident and I know these skills will help my development on and off the pitch.”

The Argus: The Duke of Edinburgh speaking with young people at Boulder BrightonThe Duke of Edinburgh speaking with young people at Boulder Brighton (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

In his final visit on his whistlestop tour the Duke of Edinburgh went to Boulder Brighton in Portslade, a rock climbing centre.

Although Prince Edward did not climb himself, he spoke to students from Blatchington Mill School and Hove Park School who often visit the site as part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Elsa Hubbard, who got to speak to the prince, said he was "nice" and asked about their progress with the award.

She said: “It was strange but quite cool as I know he is a big part of it.”

The Argus: Louis Leclerq at the centreLouis Leclerq at the centre (Image: Andrew Gardner / The Argus)

Louis Leclercq, who works at Boulder Brighton, said that meeting Prince Edward was a “big experience”.

He said: “I’m happy to have met him in a place where I feel comfortable. I did the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and I never thought I’d actually meet him.”

Prince Edward is the youngest child of the late Queen and Prince Philip, the former Duke of Edinburgh, and is the youngest sibling of King Charles III.

He holds the patronage of more than 70 charities but his charity work particularly focuses around the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The Argus: The Duke of Edinburgh donned an apron and worked in the kitchen at BhasvicThe Duke of Edinburgh donned an apron and worked in the kitchen at Bhasvic (Image: The Argus/Andrew Gardner)

The initiative, often referred to as DofE, was created in 1956 by the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as a way of bridging the gap between leaving formal education - then at age 15 - and entering National Service.

Rebecca Kennelly, executive director of UK operations at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said the scheme remains as relevant today as ever.

She said: “The Duke passionately shares our belief that every young person deserves to have fun, gain vital skills for their futures and develop life-long self-belief.

“It was brilliant to hear so many amazing young people in Brighton and Hove telling him so powerfully about the impact their DofE is having on them as well as the real difference they’re making in their communities.”