Princes William and Harry make Royal history with Google Hangout
The Princes will appear live via webcam from Buckingham Palace and post selfies on Twitter as they chat with young Commonwealth leaders
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry will mark a Royal first when they take part in an online question and answer session to launch a new award for young people.
The Princes will take part in a Google Hangout, appearing live via webcam from Buckingham Palace and chatting to five young leaders in Commonwealth countries around the world.
A “state of the art social media hub” has been installed in the Palace with the help of Google and Twitter to help the Princes launch the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme.
It includes a “Twitter mirror” - a two-way mirror with a tablet computer behind it – that the Princes are expected to use to take “selfie” pictures of themselves which they will publish on Twitter.
The awards scheme has been set up by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in partnership with Comic Relief and the Royal Commonwealth Society, to honour 240 people aged 18 to 29 from all 53 Commonwealth countries.
The Princes will launch the search for nominees using the hashtag #TheSearchIsOn, sitting on a sofa emblazoned with the phrase.
The Google Hangout – a Royal first - which is scheduled to begin on Wednesday at 3.35pm, will last for 12 minutes and will give the Princes an opportunity to ask questions of five young leaders in the UK, India, Jamaica, South Africa and Australia. The session will be introduced by the Radio 1 disc jockey Gemma Cairney.
Among the possible award nominees is Fahma Mohamed, the 17-year-old campaigner who persuaded Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, to contact every school about the problem of Female Genital Mutilation. She will be at the Palace to meet the Princes and is expected to talk to them about the problem of FGM.
She said: “Young people are the parents, the leaders and the adults of the future. We have energy, creativity and new ideas and we are the ones who can ultimately change our society and make our world a better place to live.”
Dr Astrid Bonfield, chief executive of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, said: “We are looking for the most exceptional leaders from around the Commonwealth, we are looking for this generation’s Nelson Mandela.
“Who are the people who are going to inspire a whole generation? We want to find in every single Commonwealth country the young people who are already making a difference in their country.
“The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust was set up by the Commonwealth leaders as a gift to the Queen to thank her for her 60 years’ service, and the fund stands at more than £100 million. Our task is to spend it in a five-year programme to create change across the Commonwealth.”
Sir John Major, chairman of the Trust, said: “We’re inspired by the belief that one talented individual can be a positive force for good within their communities.
“This programme will celebrate the achievements of these extraordinary individuals and help develop their skills, thus creating a lasting legacy to honour the long and successful reign of Queen Elizabeth II.”
Winners of the award will receive a year of mentoring and training to help them develop their skills.