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Pageant queen meets future king

Monday March 18, 2019 Written by Published in Local
Miss Cook Islands Lydia Simonis along with Mr Shaun Bonett meets Prince Charles at the Prince’s Trust annual dinner last week. 19031744 Miss Cook Islands Lydia Simonis along with Mr Shaun Bonett meets Prince Charles at the Prince’s Trust annual dinner last week. 19031744

Miss Cook Islands Lydia Simonis had a rare opportunity last week when she met the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles.

Simonis met the Prince of Wales during the Prince’s Trust annual dinner at Buckingham Palace.

She said meeting Prince Charles was “incredibly motivating” for her.

“For the last 43 years, he has grown his Prince’s Trust with his strong vision of helping disadvantaged youth and providing them a second chance, which he believes everyone deserves,” Simonis said.

“I was pleasantly surprised how he was up to date with activities in the Cook Islands, and he thought we had a great opportunity to improve in our sport.

“It is amazing how much HRH (His Royal Highness) cares about all people and making our world better, and I certainly am inspired to do more from the experience.”

Simonis said she also had an opportunity to talk to many other guests about the Cook Islands, including Prince’s Trust Group chief executive officer Dermot Finch and their international chairman Sir Lloyd Dorfman.

“In fact the Prince’s Trust has already setup in New Zealand approximately six months ago, and from that base intends to assist all of the Pacific Islands.”

Simonis said the Prince’s Trust annual dinner was a “truly inspiring event for me to attend”.

She is a volunteer for the Prince’s Trust and has actively supported their works with disadvantaged youth. 

“The Prince’s Trust is focused on supporting young people who are at risk of disengaging from their education or who are struggling with getting a job. They believe people deserve a second chance, especially if youth have had some serious trauma in their lives like having been to jail. 

“They help thousands of young people around the world transform their lives through the teaching of enterprise skills, and thereby have a positive impact on an individual’s ability to live, and earn in our rapidly changing world of work.”

The Prince’s Trust’s primary focus is teaching of enterprise skills such as problem solving, self-management, ethics, communication, teamwork, digital literacy, and emotional judgement.

Simonis was crowned the Miss Cook Islands in the Miss Cook Islands Pageant Association event in 2017.

She represented the country at the Miss Pacific Pageant and finished first runner-up in the regional contest last year.

The 20-year-old Sydney-based model and dancer is half Russian and half Cook Islander with ancestral links to the island of Atiu.