Canadian award-winners dazed by glitzy ceremony with the Queen, royal newlyweds

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TORONTO — Three brilliant young Canadians admit to finding themselves momentarily struck dumb when meeting the Queen earlier this week.

Aditya Mohan, Ishita Aggarwal and Midia Shikh Hassan say their royal encounter is just sinking in now that they’ve returned from a 10-day trip to London where they accepted a Queen’s Young Leaders award, for people aged 18 to 29 doing exceptional work across the Commonwealth.

Their whirlwind tour included a series of workshops and a visit to nearby Cambridge University and culminated in a glitzy awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace presided over by Her Majesty.

Mohan says that when the Queen asked him what he did, he “blanked.” It took a moment for the 21-year-old to remember that he researches cancer immunotherapy.

He says it was hard to focus in front of an audience that included the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and soccer star David Beckham.

The trio was among roughly 60 people honoured in the fourth and final year of the awards program.

The Canadian Press

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