Royal Family will share TV Commonwealth Day message instead of Abbey service

The Queen is set to appear in a special television broadcast on 7th March to commemorate this year’s Commonwealth Day, entitled ‘A Celebration for Commonwealth Day’.

The annual service was due to take place on 8th March, attended by The Queen and senior Royals, but has been cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and continued lockdown, Westminster Abbey has confirmed.

The Queen leaves the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020 (@WAbbey)

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Countess of Wessex will take part in the programme. The senior Royals will share their perspectives on the importance of the people and cultures in Commonwealth.

The celebration will hear from voices across the world, including readings and music. Performances are set to be from the Choir of Westminster Abbey, Nitin Sawhney, Lianne La Havas, Alexis Ffrench, and a piece from double Commonwealth gold medal winning athlete, Denise Lewis.

Last year’s event was the final public appearance for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and one of the final events before lockdown began.

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Speaking about the celebratory event, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Doctor Hoyle said: “The Commonwealth Service is one of the Abbey’s most important annual services, but as it is not possible to gather here, we have seized the chance to take the celebration well beyond these walls.”

“We are so please that this rich and vibrant BBC programme with the Royal Family and the Abbey at its heart will celebrate our global connections at a time when we are all so physically isolated.”

The Commonwealth is an accumulation of 54 member states with a combined population of 2.4 billion citizens, almost a third of the world’s people. Commonwealth countries range across Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific and are diverse.

The Commonwealth Day Service has been held at Westminster Abbey since 1972, becoming Britain’s largest annual interfaith gathering.

‘A Celebration for Commonwealth Day’ will be broadcast on Sunday 7 March on BBC One.

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