Pupils from Kingham Hill School join The Duke of Edinburgh in celebrating Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey

14 Mar 2013

Commonwealth Day Observance, Monday 11th March 2013

On Monday 11th March, eight pupils from Kingham Hill, Chipping Norton, joined His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to mark Commonwealth Day in Westminster Abbey.

Kingham Hill pupil Danika Quick had been especially chosen to present a posy to Her Majesty The Queen. Danika was excited at the prospect and disappointed that Her Majesty was unable to attend through ill health. Danika (13) was allowed to keep the posy and has written to Her Majesty to say how much she missed meeting her and to wish her a speedy and full recovery from her recent illness.

The Kingham Hill pupils were amongst the 1,000 young people present at the Observance, which launched the 2013 Commonwealth theme ‘Opportunity through Enterprise’.

Each of the young people present gained their place because of their involvement in enterprise. Pupils from Kingham Hill won their tickets by taking part in this year’s Commonwealth Essay Competition. Run by the Royal Commonwealth Society in partnership with Cambridge University Press, this year’s competition focuses on enterprise. Through the competition, Kingham Hill explored issues such as innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Richard Branson and acclaimed ‘Young Global Leader’ Ricken Patel spoke at the Observance, Britain’s largest annual inter-faith gathering.

Award-winning soul singer Beverley Knight, indie-rock favourites The Noisettes also performed to the assembled 2,000 guests, that included Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, The Rt Hon The Lord Howell of Guilford and Commonwealth High Commissioners.

Mike Lake, Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, said:
“We are thrilled that pupils from Kingham Hill could join the Commonwealth Day celebrations at Westminster Abbey. Having been introduced to the enterprise theme through the Commonwealth Essay Competition, it was wonderful to then see the pupils celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship alongside their peers from across the UK and Commonwealth.”

Kingham Headmaster, Nick Seward, expressed pride in the pupils chosen to represent the school: “Danika and those that were afforded the honour of being present at Westminster Abbey deserved their special day out. Their contribution to the essay competition was outstanding. They also represented the whole school, highly commended by the Royal Commonwealth Society for its enterprise in raising money through this term’s Coppers to Water campaign, that has creatively generated almost £5000 for a clean water initiative in Ethiopia.”