The Queen presents Young Leaders Award to anti-bullying campaigner from Milton Keynes

Alex with Liam Payne at the event
Alex with Liam Payne at the event

Young people from 36 countries across the Commonwealth celebrated their Queen’s Young Leaders Award last night at Buckingham Palace, and one of those honoured was Alex Holmes from Milton Keynes.

Guests at the prestigious event included Sir John Major, Sir Mo Farah, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and Anita Rani.

The 2017 Queen's Young Leaders recieve their award from her majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The 2017 Queen's Young Leaders recieve their award from her majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

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Alex Holmes received his award for his commitment to ending bullying in schools. His Royal Highness Prince Harry joined The Queen in congratulating the winners at this special ceremony.

The Queen’s Young Leaders Awards programme, now in its third and penultimate year, celebrates the achievements of some of the most exciting young change-makers from across the Commonwealth, who are all dedicated to transforming lives in their communities. From preserving the environment, to promoting gender equality, these young people are taking the lead in driving change in their communities.

The celebrations continued after the ceremony at Australia House in London, where the award winners, guests including Australian comedian and presenter, Adam Hills, and Prince Harry came together to help launch the search for the final Queen’s Young Leaders.

Speaking at the event, Alex, 29, said: “This award means a lot to me, the nine-year-old bullied Alex who didn’t have a voice definitely has a voice now and I’m so proud of how far this idea I had at my school has come.

“It’s down to people believing in me and I’m delighted Queen’s Young Leaders are now supporting my work. I’m looking forward to learning from other leaders about their success, challenges and experience and I’m certain this will inspire me to continue my own work and future projects.”

HRH Prince Harry said: “At home and abroad, I see people - especially young people - doing incredible things...They are creative and innovative, and most importantly, they are committed to making the world a better, more optimistic, and compassionate place. That’s why I am honoured to welcome this year’s award winners here tonight. The Queen’s Young Leaders award recognises what these incredible young people have achieved - not for themselves, but for others - for their peers, for their communities, for their environment, and for those less fortunate.”

Sir Mo Farah added: “It’s so great to be here with the Queen’s Young Leaders today! Their passion and dedication to helping people’s lives in their home countries is amazing. You can really see how much change these young people have made through their hard work and they absolutely deserve this honour.”

The Queen’s Young Leaders programme was established in 2014 to help talented young leaders to realise their potential and achieve even greater success in the future that will benefit people’s lives across the Commonwealth for generations to come.

As part of the awards programme, Alex will also gain unique access to training, mentoring and networking.