The teenage campaigner Malala Yousafzai collapsed into a fit of giggles at Buckingham Palace today, thanks to a joke by the Duke of Edinburgh.
The 16-year-old - who was shot by members of the Taliban in Pakistan last October while campaigning for the rights of girls to attend school - was forced to put her hand over her mouth to contain her laughter as she stood in line at a reception with the Queen and Prince Phillip.
Malala’s giggles came after the Duke told her that in Britain most parents prefer their children to go school as it gets them out the house.
Accompanied by her father Ziauddin, Malala was a guest at a reception focussing on youth and education within the Commonwealth. During her meeting with the Royals, she gave the Queen a copy of her book ‘I Am Malala’ and told the monarch about her views on the importance of education.
Malala said: “It is a great honour for me to be here, and I wanted to present you with this book.”
After telling the Queen that she was passionate about every child in the world having the right to an education, Malala added: “Especially in this country as well. I have heard about many children that can’t go to school and I want to continue our work.”
Accepting the gift, the Queen told Malala: “That’s very kind of you”.
Following the attack by members of the Taliban trying to impose Sharia law in the Swat Valley, Malala was flown to the UK for emergency treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Surgeons said she was just millimetres from death as a bullet grazed her brain, but she has since fully recovered and has subsequently addressed the United Nations and been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.