Meghan attended her first-ever Young Leaders Awards – an annual event at Buckingham Palace since 2014 that reflects the Queen’s commitment to the lifelong service of the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries. It is home to 2.4 billion people, and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. 32 of the members are small states, including many island nations.
Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust set up The Queen’s Young Leaders Awards Programme, to create a big network of extraordinary young leaders across the Commonwealth, that supports and recognizes young people, aged 18-29, who are leading the way changing their own lives and lives of those around them across the Commonwealth, despite the challenges they may face.
That year’s youngsters were praised for their work on issues including mental health problems, gender equality and climate change.
Meghan became a Commonwealth Youth Ambassador a month before she married Harry and that night, she honored the young men and women making an impact in their communities.
Prince Harry opened the event with a speech, while Meghan sat with the Queen in the audience. He described how he and Meghan were looking forward to meeting and working with the young honorees in the months to come.
“I guess you can say you’re stuck with me. I, together with my wife Meghan, look forward to convening young people from around the Commonwealth to hear your ideas, work with you to build platforms for you to collaborate and form partnerships, and continue to meet with many of you as we travel around in our work on behalf of the royal family. We look forward to meeting many of you this evening – but we also hope to see you in action in your home countries someday too.”
David Beckham was also in attendance that day and told reporters of the young honorees
“They are incredible people. It’s a great thing to be part of – to be around young kids and young people that have got really bright futures and aspirations to become great leaders.”
More from the speech:
“The issues all of you have chosen to take on are at the core of some of the world’s biggest challenges – from tackling stigma around mental health and promoting gender equality, to changing mind-sets and habits in order to conserve our natural world – you are all making a huge difference.
Your generation is the first that will have to deal hands-on with topics and issues that have been known about for a very long time. You are the future leaders who will need to pick up the baton on issues such as climate change, food security, equality and access to education, and improving the lives of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
The pace of change is happening so much faster than it did 100 years ago, or even 50 years ago. A more interconnected world means that any local problem can become a global problem overnight, but at the same time the technology and innovation driving this inter-connectivity means that any local solution can become a global solution just as fast.”
Meghan and Harry listened to the speeches:
Meghan also had a chat with some of the attendees:
And a group photo was taken:
You can watch the full event here:
Meghan stunned that day in a bespoke Prada dress. The Prada dress featured a double-breasted placket for a refined approach to cocktail dress, while a tonally coordinated belt was a prim touch.
She styled it with the Aquazzura Deneuve Bow Pointy Toe pumps
She carried the Prada Saffiano Clutch
And wore the Vanessa Tugendhaft Parisienne earrings
And finished the look with a silver cross bracelet that was never identified.
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