Her Majesty The Queen celebrates the first ever Queen’s Young Leaders Awards

Her Majesty The Queen this evening presented Awards to the Commonwealth’s first ever Queen’s Young Leaders in a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Members of The Royal Family and a host of high profile individuals attended the event, which recognised exceptional young people who are making lasting change in their communities and across the Commonwealth.

As part of the ceremony David Beckham and Sir John Major spoke to guests about the future of the Commonwealth and the importance of good leadership.

David Beckham said:

I was fortunate to work with some incredible captains and managers throughout my career each bringing their own qualities to leading a team.  As a captain myself there was no prouder moment for me then when I led my country into a major tournament.  I’m honoured to be here today to celebrate your achievement, with people like you I have no doubt the world will be a better place

Sir John Major said:

The Commonwealth is a unique institution. History has seen nothing like it, and the future is unlikely to have anything to compare with it. You exemplify the very best of what the Commonwealth is today, and our hope for what it will be tomorrow.

His Royal Highness The Duke of York, Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Michael of Kent all joined The Queen in congratulating the winners tonight.

Award winners also celebrated their achievements with Sir John Major, Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Duncan Bannatyne, David Beckham, John Bishop, Rob Brydon, Gemma Cairney, Fearne Cotton, Jamal Edwards, Stephanie Linus, Steve McQueen and David Walliams.

Earlier in the day The Queen’s Young Leaders, including UK winners Nicola Byrom from Oxford, Edmund Page from Cirencester and Zoe Jackson from St Albans, all took part in exciting engagements across London. They had a breakfast meeting with the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, at 10 Downing Street, visited the UK headquarters of global social networking company Twitter and met with Senior Executives at the BBC World Service.

Following tonight’s ceremony, The Queen’s Young Leaders Award winners will spend four days in the UK to take part in a residential development programme as part of the Award package. The programme includes a two day residential at the University of Cambridge to continue the online training they have been taking part in since January. The Young Leaders will then go on to meet with UK business leaders and visit life-changing social action projects, finished off on Friday 26th June, with a celebratory dinner at the top of the BT Tower.

The search is now on for the 2016 Queen’s Young Leaders Award Winners. If you or someone you know is doing exceptional work in their community apply or nominate them at www.queensyoungleaders.com

For more information contact:

Anouska Russell at Comic Relief on 020 7820 2500 or a.russell@comicrelief.com

Notes to editors
Queen’s Young Leaders on social media

Twitter: @queensleaders

Instagram: @queensyoungleaders

Facebook: facebook.com/queensyoungleaders

Hashtag: #QueensYoungLeaders

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society, has established The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 years of service to the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee. Guided by the values of the Commonwealth Charter, the goal of the Programme is to enable young people to step up as leaders and improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth.

Award details

Each year from 2014 to 2018, 60 exceptional young people will be selected to receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award and become ‘Queen’s Young Leaders’ – one for every year that The Queen had served as Head of the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee.

This year’s Award winners are aged between 18 and 29 and are working on raising awareness for a variety of different issues including: education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and disability equality.

As part of the Award, winners will receive bespoke mentoring and online learning provided by the University of Cambridge. Award winners will attend a week-long residential programme in the UK in June, when they will receive their Award at Buckingham Palace from Her Majesty The Queen.

Criteria to win an award:
  • Nominees will have proven experience of working to improve their communities locally, regionally or at a national level and will show evidence of their achievements
  • Nominees will be aged between 18 and 29 for the year of the Award and be citizens of a Commonwealth country
  • Nominees will demonstrate evidence of their leadership qualities
  • Priority will be given to individuals who have overcome challenges to achieve their goals
  • All nominees will need to be supported by a suitable referee.

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust is a charitable foundation, established in 2012, to mark and celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 60-year contribution to the Commonwealth. The Trust has received donations from governments, corporate partners, trusts, foundations, community groups and individuals from across the Commonwealth, and its programmes work in alliance towards eliminating avoidable blindness and to empower a new generation of young leaders. With a five-year timeframe in which to deliver successful programmes, the Trust’s aim is to leave a lasting legacy, owned by the whole Commonwealth, to honour Her Majesty The Queen. For more information go to www.jubileetribute.org

Comic Relief

Established in 1985, Comic Relief is a major UK fundraising and grant making charity which uses the power of entertainment to create long-lasting change. Its vision is a just world, free from poverty. It strives to make this vision a reality by supporting poor, disadvantages and vulnerable people in the UK and across some of the world’s poorest communities to change their own lives for the better. Discover more at: www.comicrelief.com

Royal Commonwealth Society

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), founded in 1868, is a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world. Working through a range of educational, civil society, business and governmental networks, the RCS addresses issues that matter to the Commonwealth citizens. For more information go to: www.thercs.org