Royal Family to Attend Annual Commonwealth Day Service of Celebration

Commonwealth Day 2019
Queen Elizabeth II leads the Royal family in procession at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, London.


Monday, 11th March 2024

Engagement 1:

Her Majesty The Queen accompanied by the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent will attend the annual Commonwealth Day Service of Celebration at Westminster Abbey.

The Commonwealth represents a global network of 56 countries, having been most recently joined by Gabon and Togo in 2022. Working in collaboration towards shared economic, environmental, social, and democratic goals, the service seeks to highlight a vast community which spans every geographical region, religion, and culture, embracing the diversity of its population of 2.5 billion people, of which over 60 per cent are under 30 years old.

Commonwealth Day is an annual celebration observed by people in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific and Europe. The theme for Commonwealth Day 2024 is ‘One Resilient Common Future: Transforming our Commonwealth’.

The Commonwealth Day Service will draw on this theme and highlight stories of resilience, in particular, environmental resilience and marine sustainability, through performances representing the five regions of the Commonwealth and through reflections.

Upon arrival at Westminster Abbey, the Queen will be met by the Dean of Westminster, and as Her Majesty enters the abbey an all-female group of Indian Dhol drummers Eternal Taal will be performing at the Great West Door. The service will commence with a procession of Commonwealth member states’ flags.

The service will feature special musical performances, including The Ghetto Kids, from Uganda, representing Africa; Calum Scott and Jacob Portelli will be representing Europe; pianist Spencer Klymyshyn will be representing the Americas; followed by Isabella Moore and Benson Wilson, a soprano and baritone duo representing the Pacific. Samoa is the incoming Commonwealth Chair-in-Office and will host CHOGM in 2024.

Reflections will be given by Earthshot Prize-winner Notpla which specialises in creating alternatives to plastic, and by Sir Ben Okri OBE who will read a specially commissioned poem for the 75th anniversary of the Commonwealth.

A pre-recorded video message from His Majesty The King will be played during the service this year and members of the Royal Family will meet those involved in the service, including the Commonwealth flag-bearers, as they depart.

Guests of honour among the 2,000 strong congregation will include Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, the President of Malta, Foreign Ministers, High Commissioners, senior politicians and dignitaries from across the Commonwealth, faith leaders, school children and young people from throughout the UK.

Engagement 2:

The Queen will be the guest of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Scotland, at the annual Commonwealth Day Reception, which traditionally takes place on Commonwealth Day at Marlborough House, the home of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Her Majesty will meet thirty guests, including Foreign Ministers and UK parliamentarians. The Queen will then proceed to the main receptions meeting guests including High Commissioners, representatives from Commonwealth associations and members of the Commonwealth community.

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