Each year, from 2014 to 2018, 60 inspirational young people were selected to receive an 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. The aspiration was for at least one young person from every Commonwealth country to receive a Queen’s Young Leaders Award for achievement in transforming their own lives and the lives of others. 


This life-changing programme was established by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and runs in partnership with Comic Relief and the Royal Commonwealth Society in honour of The Queen’s 60-year contribution to the Commonwealth.

Over the past five years, at a time when the Commonwealth is home to the largest generation of young people in its history – over 1.3 billion of a total 2.2 billion citizens, The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme supported thousands of young people (18-29) to make their visions of a better society a reality. Comprising two parts, it has created a lasting legacy for the Queen through:

  • An Awards scheme to recognise the achievements of 240 inspirational young people and provide support enabling them to take up leadership roles and inspire future leaders
  • Grants to support organisations in selected countries across the Commonwealth that work with young people to transform their lives


The Queens Young Leaders and the Royal Commonwealth Society 

The Legacy Programme – RCS Associate Fellows

Once the Queen’s Young Leaders’ programme had been designed and implemented, the RCS’s role was to curate aspects of the programme’s legacy, primarily via an Associate Fellows’ Programme.

This legacy programme aims to create a space in which these amazing individuals can continue to operate in the Commonwealth space, network, promote their work and develop their own skills. 

Feeding back into Civil Society

As a leading Commonwealth organisation, the RCS provides these young adults with a further mechanism to stay involved in the Commonwealth family and to strengthen young civil society voices in their countries.

The Associate Fellowship constitutes the RCS’s global youth constituency of approximately 1,500 young adults from every Commonwealth country

They are impacting on the work of the RCS as a youth-focused development organisation at a time of global ‘peak youth’.

Find out more about our Associate Fellow Network