Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The Queen at 90: Commonwealth Day Service

As the Queen approaches her 90th birthday, many things are changing. But some things stay the same. Social media might be the way communication is going but while the British Monarchy Twitter feed kept followers up to date with the latest engagement for the Queen, its substance was very much what it had been for decades. For the Queen was attending the Commonwealth Day Service.

The Queen leaves the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 14th 2016
(photo BBC screen grab)

The royal Twitter account is giving us 90 facts about the Queen over 90 days in the run up to her official birthday on June 21st and March 14th's was all about the Commonwealth. It reminded us of Elizabeth II's long and deep commitment to this group of nations and that spirit was on show in the ancient walls of Westminster Abbey where the Queen came for this thanksgiving service, another chapter in her history at a church which has been the scene of many of the most famous moments in her life and reign.

During the service, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, paid tribute to the Queen's work for the Commonwealth, speaking in his address of her 'steadfast devotion' and described the group as a 'confident, modern, multicultural and proudly inclusive organisation'. He thanked the Queen for her 'extraordinary commitment to its people.'

The service, which was also attended by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and the Duke of York, included songs from Ellie Goulding and contributions from some of the Queens Young Leaders as well as hymns and prayers.  In one of her messages for Commonwealth Day, which this year took the theme of inclusiveness,the Queen said 'by including others, drawing on collective insights, knowledge and resources, and thinking and working together, we lay the foundations of a harmonious and progressive society.'

Following the service, the choirboys of Westminster Abbey presented the Queen with a specially made artwork commemorating her horse, Choir Boy, winning the Royal Hunt Cup Ascot in 1953.

William, Kate and Harry - all under the spotlight in recent times over rows about what have been seen as light workloads - spent a lot of time talking to schoolchildren who had come along to enjoy the celebrations.

The Commonwealth was formed in 1949 and is currently made up of 53 countries who all make a commitment to values including democracy and international peace and security. As the British Monarchy #HM90facts reminded us that same day, the Queen first toured the Commonwealth in 1953, just months after her Coronation, and has shown her commitment to it over the six decades and a bit of her reign.

As the preparations for her 90th birthday continue, that commitment stays the same.

No comments:

Post a Comment