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Malala all smiles as she meets Queen Elizabeth

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was reduced to fits of laughter on Friday by Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip as she met the royal couple at Buckingham Palace.

The 16-year-old, who was shot by the Taliban for championing girls' rights to an education, met Queen Elizabeth at a reception for youth, education and the Commonwealth.

The activist survived being shot in the head on her school bus on October 9 last year and was sent for treatment to Britain where she now lives.

Malala, accompanied by her father, gave the queen a copy of her autobiography, "I Am Malala".

Malala told the queen, who is head of the 53-nation Commonwealth that includes Pakistan, that she was passionate about every child around the world having a right to an education.

Telling the monarch of her trip to the palace, Malala said: "It is not just an invitation, it is an honour for me, and I hope we all work together for the education of every child, and especially in this country as well."

Prince Philip, 92, who is known for his occasional gaffes, quipped: "There's a thing about children going to school -- they go to school because the parents don't want them in the house."

The comment that left Malala covering her face in a fit of giggles.

The reception, in the palace's White Drawing Room, was attended by 350 guests from academic institutions around the world.

After the attack last year, Malala was flown to Britain for specialist care in Birmingham, central England.

She has continued her education in the city while being feted in the West, addressing the United Nations and meeting US President Barack Obama, although she missed out last week on the Nobel Peace Prize.

"I had to miss school because I was meeting the queen," Malala said.

"It's such an honour for me to be here at Buckingham Palace.

"I also wanted to raise the issue of girls not being educated on a higher platform so that the government in each country takes action on it.

"We need to fight for education in the suffering countries and developing countries, but also here."

At an event in Edinburgh on Saturday, Malala is set to be reunited with the two school friends who were injured alongside her.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131018/malala-all-smiles-she-meets-queen-elizabeth-1