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Montevideo, August 12th 2022 - 14:23 UTC

 

 

A very special Commonwealth Day: 54 countries celebrate 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II reign

Monday, March 14th 2022 - 09:43 UTC
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The Prince of Wales will represent Her Majesty at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.  The Prince of Wales will represent Her Majesty at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. 
Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland in her speech will underline the significance of Commonwealth solidarity Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland in her speech will underline the significance of Commonwealth solidarity
The Commonwealth Service will be broadcast live on BBC One from 14:00 GMT  Monday 14 and relayed on the BBC World Service (from 15:00 GMT). The Commonwealth Service will be broadcast live on BBC One from 14:00 GMT Monday 14 and relayed on the BBC World Service (from 15:00 GMT).

Commonwealth Day will be commemorated by 54 countries across the world on 14 March, honoring their shared values and rich diversity as members of the Commonwealth.

 Every year, people in Commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific and Europe observe the day with a range of activities, including faith and civic gatherings, flag raising ceremonies and cultural events.

This year’s celebrations, held under the theme ‘Delivering a Common Future’, will be historic, marking 70 years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and her role as Head of the Commonwealth.

However the Queen will not attend Monday's Commonwealth Service, Buckingham Palace has anticipated

“After discussing the arrangements with the Royal Household, the Queen has asked The Prince of Wales to represent Her Majesty at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. 

The palace gave no reason for her cancellation but said she 'will continue with other planned engagements, including in-person audiences, in the week ahead.'

The Queen's decision not to attend the service is understood to be related to concerns over the monarch's comfort getting to and from Westminster.

Nevertheless the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland in her speech will underline the significance of Commonwealth solidarity during this time of global uncertainty.

In London, where the Commonwealth Secretariat headquarters are based, the Secretary-General will join 1,500 international guests for a multicultural, multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey.

The service, which will feature testimonies and performances from throughout the Commonwealth, will be attended by members of the British Royal Family, diplomats, faith leaders and more than 600 school children and young people.

The Commonwealth Service will be broadcast live on BBC One from 14:00 GMT on Monday 14 March. It will also be relayed on the BBC World Service (from 15:00 GMT).

Commonwealth Day Message from The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General

”After the change and challenge of the past two years it is fitting that, in such a momentous year for the Commonwealth, we can meet once again as a family to celebrate our special day.

In this year of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, we value the opportunity to pay tribute to her unparalleled service. Throughout her reign, Her Majesty has been the epitome of duty, stability and wisdom supported by HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, who is sorely missed, inspiring profound global admiration and affection.

The scale and pace of technological, economic, social and cultural transformation which have marked the decades since her accession underline the Commonwealth’s own journey. Convened after the upheaval and turmoil of the Second World War to “bring a touch of healing” to our relationships, the modern Commonwealth of 54 nations – still rooted in those kinships – stretches across six continents and five oceans.

Today, we renew the values that bind us, enshrined in our charter, of democracy; peace; human rights; equality; tolerance, respect and understanding; stewardship; promotion of youth and protection of the vulnerable. We celebrate the diversity that enriches us, and the similarities that enable us to work to together. And we recognize our shared interests. Our points of unity make the Commonwealth unique in our world.

Drawing from the deep wells of our unique history, they enable us to face the challenges of the 21st Century with clarity, unity and purpose.

COVID-19 has claimed nearly one million lives in the Commonwealth. We stand together in both grief for those we have lost, and resolve to build something better from the crisis as we work together to enable all our nations to access the vaccines and support they need to move beyond the crisis.

We stand together in the face of climate change, which is an existential threat, particularly to our small states, and work together to build more sustainable relationships with each other, and with this beautiful planet which we all share.

We stand together in the face of rising protectionism and unilateralism and work together to maximize the benefits of the Commonwealth’s formidable trade and investment advantage for everybody, in every one of our nations.

We stand together in the face of rising populism, and work together to protect and strengthen the process, culture and institutions of democracy.

We stand together against violence and insecurity, for peace and justice.

And in an uncertain world, with multilateralism under strain, the Commonwealth shines as a beacon of hope and promise, inspiring confidence in the benefits of international co-operation and collective action.

As we look towards the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, I reiterate my own commitment to, and love for, the Commonwealth.

To continue to serve the Commonwealth as Secretary-General is my greatest honor, privilege and duty. I will continue to be driven by my unwavering belief in the Commonwealth’s capacity to deliver for the public good, serving every one of our nations and their citizens. We must rise to the challenges of our times and, through our indelible shared values, shape the world to come.

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