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The Duchess of Cornwall presents Essay Competition awards at Buckingham Palace

Yesterday, the Duchess of Cornwall beamed as she handed the youth their awards from The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition.

The essay competition was founded in 1883 which makes it the world’s oldest international competition for schools. This year winners travelled from as far as India, Canada, and Australia.

The youth that travelled in had the chance to relax before the ceremony at The Globe Theatre acting out scenes from Macbeth.

In a speech to the attendees, the Duchess of Cornwall noted how “this year there have been more than 12,000 entries from nearly every one of the 52 Commonwealth countries.”

The essays submitted were all on the topic of ‘A Commonwealth for Peace’. The judges noted how the over 12,300 submissions were ” ‘creative’, ‘hopeful’ and ‘passionate’.”

In the end, there were four winners.

Senior winner, Annika Turon-Semmens from Australia wrote a short story titled ‘Human Nature’. Junior winner, Ariadna Sullivan, 13, from British Columbia, Canada wrote a poem. The poem, when read backwards, gives the reader a new insight. The first paragraph reads:

I have a toolbox of hatred and struggle
I shall never say:
My peace is undying, my love is true
At this, I chuckle
I am swift to rage and loathing is my friend
Trust and hope
Will be replaced with
Relationships built on despise
In my toolbox, hate will thrive
It is foolish to say
There is a possibility for peace

Senior runner-up, Hiya Chowdhury of India shared a story called ‘The Smallest of Things’ and Junior runner-up, Ry Galloway of London, England, wrote a poem of inner peace.

Recently, while on tour to South East Asia, the Duchess of Cornwall met with the 2016 runner-up Wan Gee at her school in Singapore. Wan Gee recalled the experience, saying: “If you keep writing and writing, you will achieve great things.”

All this year’s winners submissions can be read here. 


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