A Lasting Legacy

Play Video

About Us


In 2014 a search was launched to find exceptional young people to receive the first ever Queen’s Young Leaders Awards. Hundreds of applications flooded in from incredible young people all dedicated to making lasting change in their community and beyond. The Programme is now in its fourth and final year and has formed a unique community of 240 influential change-makers, who represent 53 Commonwealth countries.


The Queen’s Young Leader Award recognises and celebrates exceptional people aged 18-29 from across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives. Winners of this prestigious Award will receive a unique package of training, mentoring and networking, including a one-week residential programme in the UK during which they will collect their Award from Her Majesty The Queen. With this support, Award winners will be expected to continue and develop the amazing work they are already doing in their communities.


As well as awarding inspirational young people, Queen’s Young Leaders Grants will be made to organisations in selected Commonwealth countries that can show they are improving the lives of young people. Our vision is to provide opportunities for young people to learn new skills, enter employment and give them a voice in their communities. All our funding has now been allocated and applications for grants are closed.

For more information about the Grants programme, please see our FAQs.


  • 2017 Queen's Young Leader Karrie Jionisi on how the Award has changed her life #QYLLegacy #QueensYoungLeaders
  • Meet Joshua. He raises awareness of sexual reproductive health and women’s rights in Tonga. In his role as an International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Regional Youth Representative, he helps to educate young people in his community about prevalent issues faced by Tongan women and girls, such as teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence. He holds sessions with men to educate them on equality and safe sexual practices and informs women about the support available to them. In addition, Joshua encourages young people across Tonga and the Asia-Pacific region to participate in IPPF’s #KnowItOwnIt online campaign, which calls for better quality, comprehensive sex education. #queensyoungleaders
  • "In this rapidly changing world, it is heartening to meet so many inspiring young people gathered here today, who have already stepped up as leaders and improved the lives of so many people across the Commonwealth. You are the hope and optimism the world needs and we will all do everything that we can to support you in it." The Duke of Sussex
 speaking at final ever #QueensYoungLeaders Awards ceremony at #BuckinghamPalace.
  • Meet Benedict. He is dedicated to improving social equality in his country. He is the founder of the Humanitarian Association of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (HARTT), which focuses on providing humanitarian assistance to refugees. Its programmes have included an initiative which taught refugees English and extra-curricular activities to help them integrate into their new culture. Benedict also sits on the committee for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in Trinidad and Tobago. Currently, he is working alongside other young people throughout the Caribbean to launch a Youth Peace and Security Think Tank, the aim of which is to promote peace and security for all, especially for those from minority backgrounds. #QueensYoungLeaders
  • Meet Deane. She is determined to tackle the stigma around menstruation in India. She is the founder of Red is the new Green, a project which aims to end the embarrassment felt by women and girls about their periods, while providing eco-friendly solutions to tackling sanitary waste. In 2016, Deane started a pilot scheme at a school in Mumbai, which installed low-cost sanitary towel vending machines and incinerators on campus and delivered awareness-raising sessions to students. As a result of its success, both in reducing female absenteeism caused by menstruation and improving the disposal of related waste, the project has now been extended to 11 schools and has reached over 15,000 women and girls. Deane has introduced the project to hospitals, colleges, and self-help groups in her aim to take her work and message to all sections of society, regardless of age, gender or income.
  • "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 Duke of Sussex speaking at final ever #QueensYoungLeaders Awards ceremony at #BuckinghamPalace
  • Meet Midia. She works to support the educational and healthcare needs of refugees worldwide. After moving to Canada, she set up The Refugee Outreach Programme in Ottawa, which aims to encourage entrepreneurialism within the refugee community. She has also established a social venture called Dextra, which uses 3D printing to provide upper body prosthetics to refugees in refugee camps. By using this technique, she and her team are able to produce the limbs for $20, rather than the usual cost of $2,000 to $20,000. In addition, Midia has started a programme at the University of Ottawa to help students identify social issues in the community and create solutions for them. More than 300 students have accessed the programme.

  • 😄 #FridayFeeling
  • Nicole Nation and Nkechikwu Azinge talk about what being a Queen’s Young Leader means to them #queensyoungleaders #QYLLegacy
  • Happy International Day of Friendship! 😊 #friendshipday #InternationalFriendshipDay
  • Happy International Day of Friendship! 😊 #friendshipday #InternationalFriendshipDay
  • 🎈🎈🎈 #FridayFeeling #QueensYoungLeaders
  • 2015 Queen's Young Leader Emma Dicks on the impact of winning the Award #QYLLegacy #QueensYoungLeaders
  • "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." The Duke of Sussex speaking at final ever #QueensYoungLeaders Awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace
  • #FridayFeeling 👏👏👏
  • Heidy Quah and Luisa Tuilau share what being a Queen’s Young Leader means to them #queensyoungleaders #QYLLegacy
View on Instagram

Who We Are

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society, launched The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in 2014 at Buckingham Palace.  The four-year programme, supported by The University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, aims to discover, support and celebrate young people from across the Commonwealth.

It will help to transform the lives of young people through awards to individuals who are leaders in their communities and grants to youth-led and focused organisations.