The week of 24-27 October is Winners’ Week for The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2016. Three of the Winners and Runners-up of this year’s competition will be exploring the cities of London and Cambridge through a series of educational and cultural visits, organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society and partners. Today, Monday 24 October, kicked off this very special week.

Gauri, Esther and Wan Gee and their families started the day with staff from the Royal Commonwealth Society aboard the MBNA Thames Clipper, sailing from North Greenwich to Westminster. With tickets graciously donated by the Clippers, the group cruised past the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, and the London Eye, taking in the sites of this ancient city. 

After docking in Westminster, the group strolled past Parliament, Westminster Abbey and the QEII Centre before arriving at the RCS offices for an informative and interactive workshop with education author Alison Milford. The girls developed their critical thinking and storytelling skills, whilst learning more about each other and their different backgrounds.

Marlborough House - Essay Competition Winners' Week 2016After lunch, the group headed to the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the impressive Marlborough House. Located on the edge of Green Park in the neighbourhood of Mayfair, Marlborough House is a historic building where much of the work of the Commonwealth is co-ordinated. But the group was there to work, not just look.

Meeting with Neil Ford of the Communications division, Gauri, Esther and Wan Gee recorded themselves reading their winning entries, creating a keepsake of their journey. They also worked with staff to improve their public speaking, presence and confidence; all important elements of their well-established literary skillset. 

After a long day of seeing, doing and learning, the Winners and Runners-up headed home for an evening of rest before Day Two of Winners’ Week commences. What would it have in store?


Follow Gauri, Esther and Wan Gee’s journey across London on The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competitions’ Facebook and Twitter. Have questions for the girls? Tweet us using @CWEssayComp.