Bedford Academy student Gaia Sanches made it a right royal day to remember when she was selected to present a posy to the Queen at Westminster Abbey.
She and seven other Bedford Academy pupils were among nearly 1,000 school children from across the UK who attended the event to mark Commonwealth Day Observance.
The celebration, Britain’s largest annual inter-faith gathering, was attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. This year’s Observance celebrated the 2015 Commonwealth theme ‘A Young Commonwealth’. Gais Sanches was nominated by her teachers to present the posy in recognition of her exemplary contribution to the school and positive attitude.
Speakers included international child rights’ activist and 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Kailash Satyarthi, the Queen’s Young Leader and community mobiliser, PJ Cole; and Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury MP, the first female Speaker of the Parliament of Bangladesh.
The multi award-winning South African a cappella group, The Soil performed along with Indian poet, Sharanya Manivannan reciting a new poem, commissioned for Commonwealth Day.
The students – including those presenting posies to The Queen and The Duchesses – were from schools currently involved in Commonwealth projects.