By Malaka Rodrigo Last year was special for the United Kingdom as the country celebrated the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II – her Diamond Jubilee. To commemorate this special occasion the ceramics industry of the UK launched ‘Tea for the Jubilee’, a countrywide competition for young designers asking them to design a teacup fit [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Lankan girl designs cuppa fit for a queen

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By Malaka Rodrigo

Last year was special for the United Kingdom as the country celebrated the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II – her Diamond Jubilee. To commemorate this special occasion the ceramics industry of the UK launched ‘Tea for the Jubilee’, a countrywide competition for young designers asking them to design a teacup fit for the queen.
Held in two age categories, the winner of the senior category turned out to be Angelika Wimalasooriya – a Sri Lankan now settled in England with her family. Angelika’s design incorporated the Union Jack, Buckingham Palace, a guard and a Corgi. “A lot of thought went into my design as it would also be my gift for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee,” Angelika told the Sunday Times in a Skype interview.

Angelika Wimalasooriya (second from left) displays her winning design

The organisers of ‘Tea for the Jubilee’ said they had received many wonderful designs from across the country which made the role of judges difficult in selecting the best. “In this Diamond Jubilee year we felt that the Queen as a grandmother and great-grandmother would value a gift created by a young person as a tribute,” they said.
Based on her winning design, the organisers of ‘Tea for the Jubilee’ had manufactured three sets of cups and saucers – one for the Queen, one for the winner and one to be displayed at the Potters’ Club in Stoke-on-Trent. Both Angelika and the winner of the junior category Becky McGrath made a visit to Buckingham Palace to hand over their special gift to the Queen’s Royal Household on January 31.

“I’m sure the Queen would like my gift for her Diamond Jubilee,” said Angelika, delighted to have had the chance to visit the Palace. “It was an amazing opportunity for me to visit Buckingham Palace and see the inside of the Royal household.

It is a really special day and I’ll remember it forever.” Angelika’s father Thilakasiri who accompanied his daughter said he is proud of her achievement. Her mother Ramani Jayakody praised her artistic talents, adding that Angelika always liked to design things in her free time.

Thirteen-year-old Angelika is in Year 8 at Ormiston Sir Stanley Matthews Academy, in Stoke-on-Trent. After her win, her school had been presented 2,500 to be spent on books and equipment, courtesy of the British Ceramic Confederation. Angelika is also proud that her colleagues in the school benefitted from her win.

It is the British who introduced tea to Sri Lanka. So a tea set is a fitting gift for the celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee coming aptly from a creative Sri Lankan.
For more about this competition

see www.teaforthejubilee.co.uk




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