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A 13-year-old Indian schoolgirl travelled to London to receive her Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition (QCEC) Prize from Queen Consort Camilla for a true story based on the Forest Man of India, Padma Shri Jadav Molai Payeng.

Maulika Pandey from Uttarakhand was named the Junior Runner-up for her essay entitled ‘The Molai Forest’ and received her citation at a reception in Buckingham Palace on Thursday. It marked the first ceremony of the competition since the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September.

“All of us are bound together by a profound appreciation of the



written word and of our Commonwealth,” said Camilla, wife of King Charles III.

“This wonderful, extraordinary, richly diverse association of independent and equal nations and friends is, truly, ‘ours’, belonging to each one of us, and the connections between us run deep,” said the Queen Consort, who also paid tribute to her late “dear mother-in-law… who is much in our thoughts today”.

During the palace awards ceremony, the winners aged between 13 and 17 years old travelled from India, New Zealand, Australia, and around the UK to be awarded their certificates.
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