Queen joins Harry and Meghan to honour young leaders at star-studded bash

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The Queen was all smiles as she met David Beckham at a star-studded event at Buckingham Palace to celebrate inspirational young people.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also attended the Young Leaders awards ceremony, where Sir Lenny Henry and Olympic boxer Nicola Adams were among the guests.

In a speech, Harry said it was “heartening” to meet people on the programme from across the Commonwealth, who are tackling issues including mental health problems, gender equality, food scarcity and climate change.

The Queen and David Beckham
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The Queen greets David Beckham at Buckingham Palace

David Beckham, Nicola Adams and Sir Lenny Henry
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David Beckham, Nicola Adams and Sir Lenny Henry (L-R) were among the guests

“You are the hope and optimism the world needs and we will all do everything that we can to support you in it,” he added.

He and Meghan met a group from Australia, New Zealand and Tonga at the event ahead of their royal tour to the Pacific countries later this year.

It come after Meghan’s father reportedly criticised the Queen for agreeing to meet US President Donald Trump before him.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during a reception at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony
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Harry said it was ‘heartening’ to meet the young people
The Duchess of Sussex
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Meghan and Harry travel to the Pacific countries later this year

Thomas Markle told TMZ: “If the Queen is willing to meet our arrogant, ignorant, and insensitive president she has no excuse not to meet me, I’m nowhere near as bad.”

The US ambassador to the UK told Sky News that Mr Trump is due to meet the Queen when he visits Britain on 13 July.

At Buckingham Palace, Beckham spent the evening chatting with the young leaders and posing for selfies with them.

David Beckham and Nicola Adams
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Beckham and Olympic boxer Nicola Adams

The former England and Manchester United footballer said he had been “honoured” to work with the programme for the last three years.

“Meeting the children and young people today and the insight into their lives and what they have done at such a young age is incredible,” Beckham said.

The Queen and Duke and Duchess of Sussex with the "young leaders"
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The royals and former PM Sir John Major posed for a photo with the young leaders
The Queen with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
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The royals honoured young people from across the Commonwealth

“They have all got amazing stories and to sit with them and actually speak to them about their programmes and what they want to achieve, it’s incredible to hear.”

Comedian Sir Lenny, who was knighted by the Queen in 2015, said: “It’s been an incredible and impressive day.

“These are people who of their own volition decided to become Commonwealth leaders and get involved in issues like food scarcity, gender abuse and mental health issues – that’s fantastic.”

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