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Montevideo, March 26th 2017 - 01:24 UTC

Queen's leads Commonwealth Day celebrations with a peace, respect and understanding message

Monday, March 13th 2017 - 08:06 UTC
Full article 24 comments
“By upholding justice and the rule of law, and by striving for societies that are fair and offer opportunities for all, we overcome division and find reconciliation” “By upholding justice and the rule of law, and by striving for societies that are fair and offer opportunities for all, we overcome division and find reconciliation”
During the service, former Olympic gold medalist Jessica Ennis-Hill will carry the Queen's Baton for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games During the service, former Olympic gold medalist Jessica Ennis-Hill will carry the Queen's Baton for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

Queen Elizabeth has highlighted respect and understanding between nations as the key to peace in her annual message to the Commonwealth. The Queen's address to 2.4 billion citizens promotes this year's Commonwealth Day theme of “a peace-building Commonwealth”.

 With division over Brexit in the UK and instability around the world, the theme seeks to reaffirm the Commonwealth's charter principle that “international peace and security, sustainable economic growth and development and the rule of law are essential to the progress and prosperity of all”.

The Queen's message forms part of the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey being held on Monday afternoon and attended by the monarch, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.

In the message, printed in the event's order of service, the Queen writes: “The cornerstones on which peace is founded are, quite simply, respect and understanding for one another. Working together, we build peace by defending the dignity of every individual and community.

”By upholding justice and the rule of law, and by striving for societies that are fair and offer opportunities for all, we overcome division and find reconciliation, so that the benefits of progress and prosperity may be multiplied and shared.

“As members of the Commonwealth family, we can find much to be thankful for in the inheritances we have received from those who came before us. Through consensus and co-operation, great things have been achieved.”

During the service, former Olympic gold medalist Jessica Ennis-Hill will carry the Queen's Baton for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, escorted by Australian and UK athletes including Victoria Pendleton.

The baton will be launched on a global relay from Buckingham Palace by the Queen.

Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta and chair-in-office of the Commonwealth, will give a reflection in the Abbey, and there will be performances from Australian heartthrob Cody Simpson and Maltese poet and writer Immanuel Mifsud.

Guests among the 2,000-strong congregation will include Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland, alongside high commissioners, ambassadors and dignitaries, senior politicians from across the UK and Commonwealth, faith leaders and 800 schoolchildren.

Commonwealth Day will begin with the Band of the Coldstream Guards and the Commonwealth Youth Choir debuting a piece of music composed to mark the 65th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne.

The performance will take place during a flag raising ceremony at Horse Guards Parade to mark the start of celebrations worldwide. Later this evening, Charles and Camilla will be guests of the Secretary-General at a reception at Marlborough House, the home of the Commonwealth's civil service.

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  • LEPRecon

    Lukedig

    It isn't about England, its about economics pure and simple. Scotland could survive as an independent country, but what it won't be is rich. What it won't have is free healthcare and a generous social security programme.

    Why? Because Scotland has a tiny population for its size. It has no manufacturing base. It has an ageing population that will require old age pensions, so the smaller younger population would have to foot the bill for them.

    I know that, being from Argentina, you don't understand economics. You can't bully the economy into doing what you want. You can't make a political decree to make it do what you want. Market forces are completely independent from politics, hence why countries who try to make the economy do what they want, politically speaking, usually end up in deep trouble.

    As for the Irish doing quite well, then you obviously haven't got a clue about Ireland. Ireland spends a lot of its time teetering on the brink of financial collapse. In fact if it wasn't for the UK loaning them £7 billion, they'd be in a worse state than Greece right know. It was only the UK loan, with no of those EU strings attached, that saved Ireland from financial ruin.

    EscosesDoidao

    Your lack of understanding about NI and Ireland is apparent. It's unlikely that would unite as the majority Protestant north don't want to be ruled by a bunch a fascist Catholics who live in the dark ages. They also don't want to be in the same financial boat as Ireland.

    As for Ireland, they couldn't financially support NI, and couldn't give them the same things that they currently enjoy, such as free healthcare and one of the most generous social security systems in the world. Ireland can barely support itself as it is, giving them the burden and expectation of people from the north would bankrupt them completely.

    The Republic of Ireland don't want the headache that the North would bring them, and the North don't want a religious state dictating what they should do.

    Mar 13th, 2017 - 11:18 pm +1
  • golfcronie

    Gosh don't we do things well, watch and learn Argentina.

    Mar 13th, 2017 - 11:43 am 0
  • The Voice

    It would be great to see some reforms in the Republic so that the NI Prods could feel comfortable in an Irish State.

    Mar 13th, 2017 - 08:39 pm 0
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