Commonwealth Day Service celebrates diversity and collaboration amidst Brexit

"Towards a Common Future" is this year's Commonwealth theme, which marked Prince Harry’s American fiancée Meghan Markle first official royal engagement
"Towards a Common Future" is this year's Commonwealth theme, which marked Prince Harry’s American fiancée Meghan Markle first official royal engagement
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London - Photo: Peter Nicholls/REUTERS
12/03/2018
10:53
Newsroom & Agencies
London, U.K.
Reuters
-A +A

Commonwealth  Day Service was held earlier today at Westminster Abbey, London in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who serves as Head of the Commonwealth since 1952.

Ms. Theresa May, British Prime Minister, Commonwealth Secretary-General, Rt Hon. Patricia Scotland QC distinguished members of the British Royal family, Commonwealth High Commissioners, as well as Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, were among the 2,000-strong congregation for the service, the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom, which also included more than 800 schoolchildren and young people.
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U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after attending the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London - Photo: Peter Nicholls/REUTERS

The Commonwealth now has 53 members representing over 2.4 billion people. Queen Elizabeth II has made more than 200 trips to Commonwealth countries during her 66-year reign, visiting every country except Cameroon and Rwanda.

London will host next month’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting where the BBC and other British media have speculated the issue of who will succeed the 91-year-old monarch might be discussed.

“Having enjoyed the warm hospitality of so many Commonwealth countries over the years, I look forward to the pleasure of welcoming the leaders of our family of 53 nations to my homes in London and Windsor,” the queen said in a statement.

This year's service highlighted diversity and collaboration amidst tense Brexit negotiations; the service has been regarded as "the largest annual multi-faith celebration in the UK." with an aim to "foster greater understanding of the Commonwealth's achievements and role, particularly among young people.", according to the Royal Commonwealth Society, a 150-year institution "committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world."

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Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London - Photo: Peter Nicholls/REUTERS
The service marked  Prince Harry’s American fiancée Meghan Markle first official royal engagement, as Ms. Markle joined her husband-to-be and Britain’s other senior royals including Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his elder brother Prince William and his wife Kate at London’s Westminster Abbey for the 2018 Commonwealth service, as seen in a post by the British Royal family twitter account:

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