Queen Camilla Hosts Essay Competition Winners, Continuing a 140-Year-Old Tradition

If there's one thing the British royal family loves, it's tradition. This past Thursday, November 16, Queen Camilla hosted all the winners of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Prize, a competition which has been around for 140 years (since Queen Victoria's reign, to be exact).

The moment was documented with a post on the official royal family Instagram account, where the caption read, “Today The Queen celebrated 140 years of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Prize with winners, supporters and a host of well-known writers at Buckingham Palace. The competition was founded during Queen Victoria’s reign, and since then, it has given young people opportunities to express themselves on the issues that matter most to them.”

According to the Royal Commonwealth Society, the competition received a record 34,924 entries for 2023, with a senior (Siddhi Deshmukh) and junior winner (Shreeya Sahi) being chosen, as well as runners-up for each category (Yong Sin Kong and Mitali Ragtah). All the finalists were from India and Malaysia.

As it turns out, the Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition (QCEC) is the world's oldest international schools' writing contest, as it was established by the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) in 1883.

According to the RCS, in the past decade, this competition “has engaged approximately 140,000 young people, over 5,000 schools and thousands of volunteer judges across the Commonwealth.”

In 2022, when she became Queen Consort, Camilla said to the winners: “All of us are bound together by a profound appreciation of the written word and of our Commonwealth. This wonderful, extraordinary, richly diverse association of independent and equal nations, and friends, is, truly, ‘ours,’ belonging to each one of us, and the connections between us run deep.”

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Congratulations to all the winners of this year's competition.

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