Queen and Prince Harry celebrate Commonwealth’s young talent in awards


Prince Harry tonight joined the Queen in honouring inspirational youngsters across the Commonwealth.

Harry, 32, and the Queen, 91, welcomed winners of the 2017 Queen’s Young Leaders Awards to a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

The prince joked with the 60 winners, all aged 18 to 29, in a speech that he no longer considered himself young.

“These young people are already tackling many of today’s most pressing issues and will be the creative minds to take on the biggest challenges we will face in the future,” he said.

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Usman Ali, from East Renfrewshire, receives a Queen’s Young Leaders Award (PA)

“It’s our job – those of us who can no longer hand-on-heart call ourselves ‘young’ – to create a platform where we can listen to the next generation and empower them to act,” he said.

Ex Prime Minister Sir John Major, 74, provided some words of comfort. “I simply observe that to be young is a moveable feast from my perspective,” he told Harry and the 200 guests.

Celebrities including singer Liam Payne, Olympic hero Sir Mo Farah, Paralympic athlete Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, and YouTube star Caspar Lee attended the ceremony and a reception in the palace State apartments.

The awards, first launched in 2014 by Harry and his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, honour young people aged between 18 and 29 who are dedicated to changing their communities for the better.

The programme was set up to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Each year from 2014 to 2018, 60 young people have been 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.

Former One Direction star Liam Payne went to the palace without his girlfriend Cheryl and their three-month-old son Bear to show his support for the award winners.

Liam, 23, said: “It was an honour to be invited. Obviously the Queen’s Young Leaders – there are some inspirational young people in there doing some great things.

“Not only do we get to meet the Queen and say hi, these people have done some of the best things in their communities at such a young age, you know, setting an example. It’s great.”

After the reception, Prince Harry attended the Awards Dinner at Australia House in London.

Speaking on the The One Show on the BBC live from Buckingham Palace, Harry said, “This is amazing.”

He spoke about how the Queen was a young leader herself and “wanted to create something incredible to really give a platform for people like these guys to really make a difference.”

“It’s individuals making a massive difference. Don’t let anybody ever tell you that a single person can’t affect change – these guys are doing it all over the world,” he said.

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Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/queen-and-prince-harry-celebrate-commonwealths-young-talent-in-awards-a3576441.html

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