The Queen received a unique wedding anniversary gift last week as she enjoyed an online performance from a children’s orchestra in Cyprus.
Her Majesty was also given a virtual tour of a community project in Mozambique and presented with a handmade facemask during a video call with three winners of the Commonwealth Points of Light Award.
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Watching from Windsor Castle, the Queen smiled as she heard 45 children perform a never-before-heard piece called Modus Cyprius in honour of her 73rd wedding anniversary.
Music teacher Nikoletta Polydorou received the award after founding the group Sistema Cyprus in 2018 to provide vulnerable youngsters with free music tuition and instruments.
WATCH: The Queen listens to her first ever virtual musical performance
She told the Queen: "You will be the first to hear [it] and please accept it as our gift for your anniversary."
"That’s very kind," smiled the Queen.
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The performance ended with a group chant: "Happy Anniversary Your Majesty!" prompting a delighted giggle from the monarch, who told them: "Well, thank you for letting me hear that. That was very nice."
The Queen awards one volunteer from across the Commonwealth each week with a Points of Light award, in recognition of the difference they have made in their local community.
Ruy Santos from Mozambique, who received the award in July, told her about Makobo, the collaborative working space he founded in 2009 to promote nutrition, education and youth employment.
Her Majesty met winners of the Commonwealth Points of Light award
The centre’s Soup Kitchen has fed 6,000 people a day during the pandemic and 15 local dressmakers have produced more than 6,000 facemasks.
Taking the Queen on her first virtual tour, Ruy walked around his workspace, showing the monarch some of the food they serve.
He said: "We are trying to replicate the lunchbox initiative, which feeds the children in school, all over the country to feed one million children by the end of 2025."
Showing Her Majesty one of Makobo’s handmade masks, which he later sent to Buckingham Palace, he added: "Now we have a special offer for you, Ma’am, a mask that we want to offer you as a gift in acknowledging and recognising the prize that you gave to us. Please accept our humble gift to you from Mozambique with love."
"Oh that is very kind of you indeed," smiled the monarch, taking a closer look.
The Queen heard the first performance of specially composed piece Modus Cyprius
During last week’s call, she also spoke to Len Peters from Trinidad and Tobago, who received the first of the awards in February 2018 in recognition of his work to protect leatherback sea turtles.
He founded the Grande Riviere Nature Tour Guide Association, helping to transform his country into one of the world’s densest nesting sites for the species.
He explained how his community had previously eaten the turtles, but that he and a group of friends convinced people to focus on conservation instead.
"The economic drive of the community is all about conservation now," he told the Queen.
"So David Attenborough got to know what you were doing?" she asked.
Len explained how the veteran naturalist spent two weeks with them, and "inspired the children to dream".
"That’s very interesting indeed to hear that," the Queen said.
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At the end of the call, she smiled broadly and told the award winners: "Thank you all for taking part in this programme.
"I’m delighted to have heard your stories and I think it’s wonderful work you are all doing, volunteering so much. Thank you very much."
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