Our two countries understand that if we are to address the challenges facing our world – from the horror of man-made climate change to the pernicious evil of terrorism – we must work together in partnership, just as we must if we are to enrich our societies and fuel our economies to deliver better futures for our children and grandchildren.

I remain convinced that by working together, it is still possible to take the decisive action necessary to save the world's remaining forests.  But we should be in no doubt that the future of the world's vital forests, and therefore of the planet, as a whole, really does rest in our hands.

small acts of kindness can make a huge difference at such a tragic time

I just wanted to reassure you that your role is absolutely crucial because you can help create a more integrated approach to solving so many difficult issues, that otherwise don’t get solved at the community level.

It is, perhaps, appropriate that your discussion is taking place in the splendid surroundings of the National Botanic Garden of Wales because we can all too easily forget the central relationship between humanity and the land. We have to see it, though, as a symbiotic relationship, as those before us always did. You will know that old Welsh proverb, “Cadw dy ardd," ceidw dy ardd dithau,” “Keep your garden – your garden will keep you.”

Today I’m delighted to welcome the winning schools to Buckingham Palace for what is a historic occasion – the first time children have cooked for The Queen: Cape Cornwall School from Penzance, Latimer Arts College from near Kettering,  St Columba’s Primary School, who have travelled all the  way from Oban in Scotland, and Eastington Primary School from Gloucester.

It is always a little daunting to address such eminent literary company – but I am heartened by the thought that we probably do all have one thing in common: we are here tonight because of books and the pleasure they give us – and what a pleasure that is!

You all represent, not only yourselves and your own achievements, but also the millions of remarkable women who make a difference every day. I salute you all – for your courage, selflessness and dedication.

As a country, we are rightly proud of our industrial heritage, but we should also celebrate our continued success as the standard bearer of quality manufacturing and engineering throughout the world.