Her Majesty The Queen attends The Commonwealth Service

Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh attended The Commonwealth Service: A Celebration of the Commonwealth at Westminster Abbey on Monday 14th March 2016. They were accompanied by TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, HRH Prince Henry of Wales and HRH The Duke of York.

The Prime Minister the Rt Hon David Cameron MP attended the Service.

In his Bidding the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: 'This year's theme is An Inclusive Commonwealth so, as we give thanks for our diversity of faiths and for the variety of resources and circumstances of our countries, let us pray that we may be united in one common bond of mutual support and friendship.' He added a reference to the suffering of the people of Fiji following the recent cyclone.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General His Excellency Kamalesh Sharma led the Act of Affirmation to the Commonwealth.

Reflections were read by Sara Ezabe Malliue, social inclusivity campaigner and Queen's Young Leader; Kofi Annan GCMG CSG, former Secretary-General of the United Nations; and HE Kamalesh Sharma.

Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh read her poem Unity; and the Honourable Dr Joseph Muscat KUOM, Prime Minister of Malta, read Romans 12: 9-18.

Prayers were said by The Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala, Buddhist community; Rabbi Danny Rich, Liberal Judaism; Trupti Patel, Hindu community; Shaykh Dr Mohammad Bahmanpour, Muslim community; and His Grace Bishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Church.

There were performances by the English singer-song writer, Ellie Goulding, and South African bass-baritone, Simphiwe Simon Shibambu.

The Abbey Choir, conducted by James O'Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers, sang Jubilate Deo by Matthew Martin and extracts from psalm 47 O clap your hands by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and the organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist.

Before the Service, there were performances by The Melodians Steel Orchestra, and The Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir, under the direction of Paul Carroll.

The flags of the 53 Commonwealth countries were processed through the Abbey at the start of the Service.

The Service was televised by the BBC and broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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© 2017 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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