Zambian student receives essay competition prize at Buckingham Palace Award Ceremony

A Zambian student, awarded Senior Runner-up of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay
Competition 2016, on Wednesday last week attended a reception at Buckingham Palace in recognition of her
Esther Mungalaba, 19, from Meanwood, Lusaka, today received her certificate from HRH The
Duchess of Cornwall on behalf of HM The Queen. Junior Winner, Gauri Kumar and Junior
Runner-up, Tan Wan Gee, both 14 and from Singapore, attended the event. Among the 70
guests at the Award Ceremony were His Excellency Mr Muyeba S. Chikone, High Commissioner
for the Republic of Zambia and the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia
Scotland QC.
The young writers were flown to London for Winners’ Week – a week-long programme of
cultural and educational activities including a tour of Parliament and a day trip to Cambridge, the
latter organised by the competition’s sponsor, Cambridge University Press.
Writing in response to the 2016 theme ‘An Inclusive Commonwealth’, Esther’s essay was chosen
from nearly 6,500 senior entries before being selected by a prestigious final judging panel this
A graduate from Kasisi Girls Secondary School, Esther gave a mature assessment of the global
migrant crisis in her essay; Let Them In: A Short Discourse Outlining How Complicated These
Three Words Can Be.
Esther said: “Buckingham Palace is beautiful. It feels overwhelming to be here and with such
important people.”
On her advice to young aspiring writers Esther said: “If you really love writing or have an idea
that you feel even one person in the world should know about then you should take this step
and find out more about the essay competition, you won’t regret it.”
Claire Whitaker OBE said: “As the Chair of Trustees of the Royal Commonwealth Society, I am
immensely proud of our work in facilitating this essay competition in the name of our patron,
Her Majesty The Queen. The success of this year’s competition is a testament to the continuing
importance and relevance of the Commonwealth and its values for young people.”

issued by: Rachel Ilett, Media and Communications Officer, The Royal Commonwealth Society

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