Senior members of the Royal Family attended the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey today.
The Royals in attendance included: The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Alexandra.
The Queen was not in attendance after pulling out of the service on Friday, over concerns for her mobility and the strain of the travel. Prince Charles was asked to lead the Royal Family, following The Queen’s announcement.
Whilst The Queen was not present, her presence was still felt with her annual Commonwealth Day message: “In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, it has given me pleasure to renew the promise I made in 1947, that my life will always be devoted in service.
“Today, it is rewarding to observe a modem, vibrant and connected Commonwealth that combines a wealth of history and tradition with the great social, cultural and technological advances of our time.
“That the Commonwealth stands ever taller is a credit to all who have been involved. We are nourished and sustained by our relationships and, throughout my life, I have enjoyed the privilege of hearing what the relationships built across the great reach and diversity of the Commonwealth have meant to people and communities.
“Our family of nations continues to be a point of connection, cooperation and friendship. It is a place to come together to pursue common goals and the common good, providing everyone with the opportunity to serve and benefit.
“In these testing times, it is my hope that you can draw strength and inspiration from what we share, as we work together towards a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for all.
“And on this special day for our family — in a year that will include the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Commonwealth Games — I hope we can deepen our resolve to support and serve one another, and endeavour to ensure the Commonwealth remains an influential force for good in our world for many generations to come.”
Other guests included the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Leader of the Opposition, Sir Kier Starmer.
The theme for this year’s Commonwealth Day was ‘Delivering a Common Future’, which highlights how the 54 member countries in the Commonwealth family are ‘innovating, connecting and transforming’ to help achieve goals like fighting climate change, promoting good governance and boosting trade.
Given The Queen is marking 70 years of service to the Commonwealth this year, there was also a focus on the role service plays in the lives of people and communities across the Commonwealth.
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, said: “In this Jubilee year, in which we rejoice in the 70 years that Her Majesty the Queen has presided over this Commonwealth, we also thank God for her faithfulness and commit ourselves to learn from an example of duty and service. In words and music in the Abbey, we will now retrace the steps of her great Commonwealth tour begun 70 years ago.”
Due to the pandemic last year, members of the Royal Family took part in a special television broadcast.
The Queen gave 2021’s speech from St George’s Hall at Windsor, in front of flags of the Commonwealth. She noted ‘stirring examples of courage, commitment and selfless dedication’ across the Commonwealth in spite of the difference in experiences in the pandemic.