It was a once-in-a-life time opportunity for young Karrie Jionisi to met Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth at her recent trip to Buckingham Palace in London recently.
Karrie,was the 2017 Solomon Islands Young Queen Leaders recipient and she was among 60 young people from Commonwealth countries who travelled to the United Kingdom to receive their awards.
The group spent a week at the Cambridge University learning about creative writing, managing projects and listening to inspirational worldwide speakers.
The second week, they visited the Headquarters of BBC, Facebook and Instagram in London.
Later on, the group went to Buckingham Palace to personally receive their awards from Her Majesty, the Queen.
Karrie said the ride to Buckingham Palace felt like they were Hollywood Stars.
“We went in a bus, the Queen’s young leaders awards had a big bus all 60 of us. The funny thing was when we got there, the police came and checked our passports.”
She said. “When we drove in, all the tourists outside were looking at us like” how did those people get to go in freely like that?”
She laughed. “We felt like Hollywood stars waving at them.”
They stopped under the famous‘balcony’ at the Palace.
This was where the Royal family would come out to wave to the public during national celebrations.
Karrie seemed lost for words when she described the Buckingham Palace, “inside was there was gold and red carpet everywhere.”
The young awardees had thirty seconds to speak with the Queen when they received their awards.
Karrie recalled her thirty seconds.
“The Queen asked me about my community project and she advised me.She said that our country Solomon Islands is a well-known country to her and she sees it as one of her favourite country. And she advised me not to let anyone step on me.”
The Queen was not the only famous person she met.
Karrie also rubbed shoulders with Prince Harry, David Beckham and the singers of the band One Direction.
She sat next to the Prince at dinner.
“He told me that I am a role model for my country now. He said I must always remain humble”.
From all that she experienced, Karrie was now more confident and determined to continue her work with the young people in the country.
“I’ve started a project called ‘Back to School’where i want to involve everyone who has dropped out of school in the project and I am still looking for funding. So Girls for change will work on that and i want to work especially with girls and single mothers. To bring them back and put them back in to tertiary studies.”
By: Kikiva Tuni