London: Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have made their debut as Commonwealth Youth Ambassadors and interacted with some Indian research scholars after assuming their new role.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have pledged to back unique projects from all the 53 member-countries of the Commonwealth.
At a special reception to mark the end of the 'Your Commonwealth' Youth Challenge Event at the Commonwealth Secretariat here last week, the newly-wed couple interacted with a number of Indian Commonwealth Scholars conducting research across different fields alongside representatives from the other Commonwealth nations.
"I don't take this job lightly. I am here to listen and learn from you and bring your ideas to the decision makers," said Prince Harry, who was appointed to the new role by his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the UK in April.
The royal couple will embark on their first official tour as youth ambassadors to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga in the coming months.
The visit will encourage plans around the Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF), which provides an opportunity for young people of the Commonwealth to build cross-cultural connections and networks, debate the challenges facing its young people, agree youth-led initiatives to influence decision makers and ensure young people have a voice in its future.
"Fresh and inspiring representation by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, together with the leadership of the Commonwealth Youth Council, and many other dynamic links among the youth of our member nations promise a new golden age of Commonwealth cooperation," said Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland at the reception on Thursday.
"With roots going deep, and branches spreading wide, we are able to draw on shared inheritances and reach out to new possibilities," she said.
The Indian Commonwealth Scholarship winners at the Youth Challenge Event this week included doctor Rizwan Javed, pharmaceutical researcher Kanika Thakur, environmentalist Ananda Nidhi, Shrishti Gupta, Shraddha Singh and Shiboni D'Souza.
"It is important to have the younger generation have a stake in the Commonwealth. To have the Duke and Duchess of Sussex involved will certainly inspire a whole new generation to get involved," said Y K Sinha, India's High Commissioner to the UK.
As part of the Youth Challenge, hundreds of participants from the Commonwealth worked in groups to generate ideas about the type of Commonwealth they want to see in 2040.