News article

HM The Queen to honour two Pakistanis with Queen’s Young Leaders Award

Her Majesty the Queen will present The Queen’s Young Leaders Award to two exceptional young people from Pakistan at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on Thursday 23rd June.

As the Commonwealth celebrates the Queen’s 90th birthday, this year’s award winners, Zainab Bibi (26) and Muhammad Usman Khan (27), are being recognised by The Queen for taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and making a lasting difference in their communities.

As The Queen’s Young Leader, they will be representing Pakistan as they join winners from 45 different Commonwealth countries in London for five days of high-level engagements, all designed to help them further their life-changing work.

Before receiving their Queen’s Young Leaders Award at Buckingham Palace, the winners will visit 10 Downing Street and the UK headquarters of global social networking company Twitter, and meet with senior executives from BBC World Service.

They will also meet the Commonwealth Secretary General, Baroness Scotland, take part in workshops at the University of Cambridge, have meetings with UK business leaders and visit projects that are changing the lives of vulnerable people in the UK.

Selected through a competitive process where thousands of young people from all over the Commonwealth applied to be The Queen’s Young Leader, Zainab Bibi said:

As the time is getting close, my excitement to meet The Queen is sky rocketing. I have no words to explain my feelings; I am anxiously waiting for the best week in my life.

Muhammad Usman Khan added:

I am super excited about the Residential Week for The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme. It’s a prestigious opportunity to learn, share and acknowledge being The Queen’s Young Leader.

This year’s award winners are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of issues including education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and improving the lives of people with disabilities.

The application process to become a 2017 Queen’s Young Leader opens on Friday 24 June 2016. The programme is looking for people aged between 18 and 29 who are dedicated to creating positive changes to the lives of people in Pakistan.

Details about how to apply to become The Queen’s Young Leader, together with information about the 2016 award winners and highly commended runners up, is available here

Notes to editors

The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, in partnership with Comic Relief and The Royal Commonwealth Society, has established The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme in honour of Her Majesty The Queen’s 60 years of service to the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee. Guided by the values of the Commonwealth Charter, the goal of the Programme is to enable young people to step up as leaders and improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth.

Award details

Each year from 2014 to 2018, 60 exceptional young people will be selected to receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award and become ‘Queen’s Young Leaders’ – one for every year that the Queen had served as Head of the Commonwealth at the time of her Diamond Jubilee.

As part of the Award, winners will receive bespoke mentoring and online learning provided by the University of Cambridge. Award winners will attend a week-long residential programme in the UK in June, when they will receive their Award at Buckingham Palace from Her Majesty the Queen.

Criteria to win an award

  • nominees will have proven experience of working to improve their communities locally, regionally or at a national level and will show evidence of their achievements
  • nominees will be aged between 18 and 29 for the year of the Award and be citizens of a Commonwealth country
  • nominees will demonstrate evidence of their leadership qualities
  • priority will be given to individuals who have overcome challenges to achieve their goals
  • all nominees will need to be supported by a suitable referee.

For more information contact:

Ruth Maurice at Comic Relief on 020 7820 2500 or


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British High Commission
Tel. 051 201 2000