THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS ISSUED BY THE PRESS SECRETARY TO THE QUEEN
As part of the celebration of The Queen's Golden Jubilee next year, the Royal Household has organised a poetry competition which will be open to all pupils aged from seven to 18 throughout the UK.
The winners will be invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace and be presented with specially commissioned medals by The Queen. The design of these medals will be based on Raphael's Study for the Figure of Poetry, which has been in the Royal Collection for over 300 years.
Entries will be judged by a panel chaired by the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion. The theme of the competition is The Queen's Golden Jubilee. It is expected that the poems will range in their choice of subject from being about The Queen herself, to considering some aspect of her time on the throne - a particular incident or historical event, the changes and developments in our national identities - anything which summarises or illuminates the period.
Andrew Motion said: "We hope that the largest possible number of pupils will enter, and that the result will not simply be a tribute to The Queen, but an honouring and elaboration of the vital role that poetry itself has always played in our national life.
"We intend that the Golden Jubilee Poetry Competition will pay homage to the past, celebrate the present, and look to the future."
Keeper of the Privy Purse, Sir Michael Peat, added: "The Queen's Golden Jubilee will be an opportunity to look back and celebrate all that the Country has achieved over the past 50 years, and also to look forward as we move into the 21st century.
"It is important to involve young people in this process and there are probably few better or more enjoyable ways of doing so than by means of poetry, which is such a succinct and enduring way of capturing the spirit of the times."
All entries will be preserved for posterity in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. The fifty best poems will be published in a booklet and sent to all participating schools.