Winners’ Week for The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2016 continues, with three action-packed days already completed and just one more to go. Day three brought with it, perhaps the highlight of the whole week; a special Award Ceremony at Buckingham Palace. This was not the only special event today, which will be the group’s last in London.
Gauri, Wan Gee and Esther began the day by wishing Inessa Rajah, Senior Winner, the best of luck in her examinations, which she was just finishing. Unfortunately, Inessa was unable to join this week due to her exams, but The Royal Commonwealth Society looks forward to welcoming her in March. View the girls’ message to Inessa.
The group then took a brisk walk to Westminster Abbey, where they met with the education team and learned about the history of the building. A trip to Poet’s Corner proved inspiring for the young writers, as they saw the final resting places of Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and Edmund Spenser, among other historical literary and scholastic figures. The group then observed the stunning architecture of Westminster Abbey, where The Commonwealth Service is held every year on Commonwealth Day.
With the end of the tour of the Abbey came the chance to get ready for the enviable trip to Buckingham Palace. Arriving in the early afternoon, the group was given a brief tour of The Queen’s residence in London and then attended the Award Ceremony. The young writers were given their Award Certificates by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, a strong advocate of literature. In attendance at the ceremony were the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, the Dean of Westminster Abbey, the UK’s Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell and other prominent figures, as well as RCS staff.
The day ended with a celebratory dinner kindly provided by the High Commission of Singapore to the United Kingdom.
After three busy but beautiful days in London, the group heads to Cambridge tomorrow for the final day of Winners’ Week. They will see the Cambridge University Press’ Museum, go punting on the River Cam, and explore the Royal Commonwealth Society Archives at Cambridge University Library.