Prince Harry joked with youngsters that they were "stuck with him" as he gave an opening speech at the final Queen's Young Leaders Awards tonight.

The Duke and Duchess joined the Queen at Buckingham Palace to meet young people who have made changes to their communities, including mental health advocates and those tackling domestic violence.

The courageous 61 finalists also got the chance to meet a host of celebrities, including David Beckham, presenter Ore Oduba, Olympic boxer Nicola Adams and comedian Lenny Henry, after being presented with their awards.

The Duchess of Sussex looked pretty in a blush pink dress from Prada as she beamed with pride at husband Harry as he opened tonight's event.

61 young leaders were presented with an award this evening
The couple meet finalists after the ceremony
Harry and Meghan smile as the Queen presents awards to finalists
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace
Meghan speaks to one of the finalists
Harry and Meghan wait for the Queen to walk on ahead of them
Queen Elizabeth II (centre front) with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (left front) during a group photo at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony

Former prime minister Sir John Major introduced Harry onto the stage, saying he was "delighted" to see the royal with his new wife at the event just hours after he returned from Lesotho in South Africa.

Harry told the crowd it was "honour" to be there, and confirmed it was the last year of the Queen's Young Leaders Awards.

He assured that the "legacy of the programme will no doubt carry on for generations to come" as he praised the work "of the final group of exciting young change makers from across the 38 commonwealth countries."

The Queen and Meghan listen to Harry open the event
Harry said in a speech that it was "heartening" to meet the youngsters
Harry told the crowd it was "honour" to be there, and confirmed it was the last year of the Queen's Young Leaders Awards

He said: "The issues you have chosen to take on are at the very core of some of the world's biggest challenges - from tackling stigma around mental health and promoting gender equality to changing mindsets and habits in order preserve our natural world.

Harry also touched on his April appointment to Commonwealth Youth Ambassador during the speech - a new the role which will see him support the work and aspirations of young people across the 53 member states.

He said: "I'm committed to supporting the legacy of th Queen's Young Leaders and the 1.4billion commonwealth youths."

Becks looking sharp
Tina Daheley arriving at Buckingham Palace
Lenny Henry seems very happy about something
Model Neelam Gill arriving for the reception
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Meghan and Harry attend the Queen's Young Leaders reception

As he then added: "I guess you can say, you're stuck with me," both Meghan and the Queen were seen laughing in the audience and a small giggle can be heard rippling through the crowd.

He continued: "I together with my wife Meghan look forward to meeting people from around the commonwealth to hear your ideas.

"We look forward to meeting you all this evening but also meting you in you in action in your home countries some day too."

Following the presentation ceremony, Harry and Meghan were seen speaking with finalists alongside Beckham, Adams and Sir Lenny.

The Queen shakes hands with David Beckham
British boxer Nicola Adams arriving for the reception

Beckham, who has been working with the group for three years, said he is "honoured" to work with the programme.

He said: "To help so many young people globally is such a special initiative.

"I was very honoured and felt so special to be involved in it."

He spent the evening chatting with the young leaders and posing for selfies with them.

"Meeting the children and young people today and the insight into their lives and what they have done at such a young age is incredible," he added.

Queen Elizabeth II meets (left to right) Sir John Major, Sir Lenny Henry and David Beckham
David Beckham arriving earlier
David Beckham and Nicola Adams at Buckingham Palace

"They have all got amazing stories and to sit with them and actually speak to them about their programmes and what they want to achieve, it's incredible to hear."

Sir Lenny, who also attended the awards ceremony last year, said: "It's been an incredible and impressive day.

"These are people who of their own volition decided to become Commonwealth leaders and get involved in issues like food scarcity, gender abuse and mental health issues - that's fantastic."

The Queen started the Queen's Young Leaders Awards in 2014 to transform the lives of young people through awards to individuals who are leaders in their communities and grants to youth-led and focused organisations.