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The Queen attends The Commonwealth Day Service

Monday, 11th March 2019

The Queen attends The Commonwealth Day Service

Her Majesty The Queen attended The Commonwealth Service: A Celebration of the Commonwealth at Westminster Abbey on Monday 11th March 2019.

Her Majesty was accompanied by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and HRH The Duke of York.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding:

This year we think of A Connected Commonwealth, in which our precious environment, given and blessed by almighty God, may be cherished and nurtured.
As we give thanks for our connections across the world, let us pray that we may dwell together in peace, and that our mutual friendship and support may be for us all a source of strength.

During the service, there were performances by the Dhol Foundation drummers; Clean Bandit; William Barton, didgeridoo; Alfie Boe, tenor; and the B Positive choir.

Lewis Pugh OIG, an endurance swimmer and UN Patron of the Oceans, read a Reflection.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Prime Minister, read 1 Corinthians 12: 14-26.

Prayers were said by Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, representing Reformed Judaism; Maulana Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, Shia Muslim community; Lord Singh of Wimbledon, Sikh community; and Father Daniel Humphreys, Roman Catholic Church.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon The Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC, led the Act of Affirmation to the Commonwealth.

The service was sung by The Choir of Westminster Abbey, conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Peter Holder, Sub-Organist, and before the service by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist.

Before the service, Tropical Flowers Séga Dancers performed in the Abbey forecourt.


The Queen's Commonwealth Message

In her Commonwealth Day Message 2019, published in the Order of Service, The Queen writes:

Commonwealth Day has a special significance this year as we mark the 70th anniversary of the London Declaration, when nations of the Commonwealth agreed to move forward together as free and equal members. The vision and sense of connection that inspired the signatories has stood the test of time, and the Commonwealth continues to grow, adapting to address contemporary needs.
Today, many millions of people around the world are drawn together because of the collective values shared by the Commonwealth. In April last year, I welcomed the leaders of our 53 nations to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and we all witnessed how the Commonwealth vision offers hope, and inspires us to find ways of protecting our planet, and our people.
We are able to look to the future with greater confidence and optimism as a result of the links that we share, and thanks to the networks of cooperation and mutual support to which we contribute, and on which we draw. With enduring commitment through times of great change, successive generations have demonstrated that whilst the goodwill for which the Commonwealth is renowned may be intangible, its impact is very real.
We experience this as people of all backgrounds continue to find new ways of expressing through action the value of belonging in a connected Commonwealth. I hope and trust that many more will commit to doing so this Commonwealth Day.

The Order of Service

Order of Service for The Commonwealth Service 2019 (PDF, 1.70MB)

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At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.

Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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