British Royal Celebrate Commonwealth Day With Westminster Abbey Service

  March 13, 2017 at 4:23 pm by

Members of the British Royal Family were present at an inter-faith church service to celebrate Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey today.

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh headed the royal contingent which included the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, the Duke of York, and the Earl of Wessex, whom were all greeted by the Dean of Westminster upon their arrival.

During the service readings and speeches were given by various representatives of the 70 nations that make up the Commonwealth (formerly the British Empire). The 2018 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton was also brought into the Abbey for the service by Britain’s famed heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Afterwards, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward spent time greeting school children and other guests who attended the service. Harry took a special moment to shake the hand of 16-year-old Rebecca Thornton, who earlier presented the Queen and the Duchess with flowers, as he exited the Abbey, leaving the teen – who uses sign language to communicate as a result of severe hearing problems – with a massive grin on her face. The Prince later joked about his status with other youngsters, who asked him “Are you the real Prince Harry?” He responded with,‘Yes, the other one is Ed Sheeran.”

The Queen had earlier released her annual Commonwealth Day message, speaking of the “peace-building Commonwealth”.

“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…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 cooperation great things have been achieved. We can find further reward and fulfilment by continuing to collaborate with others in a spirit of goodwill to build a peaceful and abundant future for all Commonwealth citizens,” she said.

Commonwealth Day is celebrated on the second Monday each March, to celebrate the links between the Commonwealth nations.

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