Gauri Kumar, Esther Mungalaba, and Tan Wan Gee, three of the Winners and Runners-up of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition, today enjoyed the second day of Winners’ Week in London, learning about literature, print media, Parliament and more.
The day began with a tour of the British Library, exploring relics of musical, religious and of course literary history. The group saw everything from Gutenberg’s Bible of 1455, to Jane Austen’s writing desk, to handwritten original lyrics from the band, The Beatles, amongst other treasures. Surrounded by Brutalist architecture, coffee-drinking students, and an enormous column of books (the George III Collection: the King’s Library), Esther, Wan Gee and Gauri enjoyed a morning at one of the UK’s most spectacular literary collections.
In the afternoon, the group visited the headquarters of the Evening Standard, London’s free evening newspaper. They met with Managing Editor, Doug Wills as he showed them around the bustling newsroom.
The afternoon ended at the Houses of Parliament, where Wan Gee, Gauri and Esther met with Mr Mark Williams MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Education for All, and Member of Parliament for Ceredigion. As a former teacher, Mr Williams MP has a strong interest in education. He showed the group around the building, pointing out many historical intricacies, and then invited them to observe a Parliamentary Debate in the gallery. It was a fascinating learning experience for a group greatly interested in politics and democratic processes.
As the night fell, the group turned in early to prepare for Day Three of Winners’ Week. Tomorrow brings the week’s highlight: the special Award Ceremony at Buckingham Palace in the presence of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, among other important guests. It is sure to be spectacular.