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The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition

An opportunity for young Commonwealth citizens to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences on key global issues and have their hard work and achievement celebrated internationally.

The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world's oldest international writing competition for schools, established in 1883.

Each year, youth under the age of 18 are asked to write on a theme that explores the Commonwealth’s values and principles, fostering an empathetic and open-minded worldview in the next generation of Commonwealth leaders. 

Recent themes have focused on the environment, inclusion, the role of youth leadership, and gender equality.  

All entrants and all participating schools receive a Certificate of Participation and one Winner and Runner-up from the Senior (aged 14-18) and Junior (under 14) categories will travel to the United Kingdom for a week of educational and cultural activities, which culminates in a special Awards Ceremony, usually held at Buckingham Palace, that is hosted by the Society’s Patron, Her Majesty, The Queen Consort. 

Past winners have gone on to become prominent leaders, including the Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mei Fong, and the renowned author, Elspeth Huxley. 

The competition will launch during Commonwealth Week the second week in March and close in June. 

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