Celebrations and events were held around the world on Monday, 9 March to mark Commonwealth Day.
This year’s event was centred around the theme ‘Delivering a Common Future’, highlighting how the 54 member countries in the Commonwealth family are ‘innovating, connecting and transforming’ to help achieve some of its biggest goals - such as protecting natural resources and boosting trade.
Events to mark the occasion took place across five continents with the Commonwealth’s 2.4 billion citizens enjoying flag parades, church services, poetry mornings, dance performances and much more.
Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, released a message to mark the occasion.
She touches on the theme of connectivity, mentioning how “advances in technology and modern media have now enabled many more people to witness and enjoy – with remarkable immediacy – the experience of Commonwealth connection, in areas such as education, medicine and conservation.”
She ended by saying: “On this Commonwealth Day I hope that the people and countries of the Commonwealth will be inspired by all that we share, and move forward with fresh resolve to enhance the Commonwealth’s influence for good in our world.”
The Queen joined Secretary-General Patricia Scotland at Westminster Abbey for a multi-faith service to celebrate the day.
Highlights included performances from West-End star, Alexandra Burke; and multi-platinum, multi-award winning singer-songwriter, Craig David.
World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua also spoke at the service.
In her message the Secretary-General said: “Our great strength as a family of nations, and of peoples growing together organically, is our ability to evolve and adjust to changing circumstances – whether in the field of human rights, democracy or trade.”
She added: “An impressive example of how our member countries come together to pool knowledge and resources which deliver transformational change through innovation is the Commonwealth Blue Charter.
“It provides a dynamic framework within which our member countries commit to working together on ocean health and to use marine resources in sustainable ways.”