The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have commended the first winners of the Queen’s Young Leaders Awards as “true trailblazers”.
Sixty young people throughout the Commonwealth have been recognised by the Queen for their work in changing the lives of others and creating a difference in their communities.
The Programme announced in July 2014, runs from 2015 to 2018. During this time, a total of 240 exceptional younger leaders from the Commonwealth will be bestowed honours at Buckingham Palace.
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust works in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society. They created The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in honour of Her Majesty’s long and continued service to the Commonwealth.
The goal of the Programme is to “discover, celebrate and support young people from every Commonwealth nation.” The goal is to do this via an awards scheme and by awarding grants so aid groups throughout the Commonwealth that work to help transform the lives of young people.
These young people will be selected for having converted their own lives and the lives of those around them, in spite of challenges they may have faced along the way.
This year’s award winners whose age ranges between 18 and 29 worked to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on several issues including climate change, education, gender equality, mental health and disability awareness.
In a video message recorded ahead of the presentation next week, Prince William said: “The response has been incredible. Right across the Commonwealth young people with vision and purpose have shown the determination it takes to make a real and lasting change in their communities.”
“Within days the first winners will meet for the first time to be presented with their award medals by the Queen, who became a young leader of the Commonwealth herself at the age of 26,” William added.
“They are true trailblazers for their generation and those to follow,” Prince Harry noted.
Harry continued: “Each and every one of the 60 winners has demonstrated leadership, compassion and commitment by improving the lives of others and selflessly supporting those who need it most. William and I are delighted that we can in turn support and applaud them. We look forward to watching their leadership skills develop and the impact of their initiatives grow. We hope that their determination inspires others to take action and to change their own communities.”
Before accepting their honours from The Queen at Buckingham Palace, the winners will meet the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street. They also will visit the UK headquarters of Twitter and meet senior executives at the BBC World Service.
After the presentation ceremony on Monday, the recipients will spend four days in the UK participating in a residential development programme as part of their award
The programme includes workshops at Cambridge University, meetings with UK businesses leaders and visiting social action projects.
Launched in 2012, The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust is a charitable foundation commemorating and celebrating The Queen’s 60-year contribution to the Commonwealth.
Photo credit: Beacon via Flickr