A Service of Celebration for Commonwealth Day 2019 LIVE - BBC
Originally published on March 11, 2019
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In the presence of Her Majesty the Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family, Fergal Keane presents live coverage from Westminster Abbey in London of a service of celebration for Commonwealth Day.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined the Queen for a Westminster Abbey service to mark Commonwealth Day.
The royals and senior figures from national life marked the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth.
The theme of this year's event was A Connected Commonwealth, with member countries being urged to protect natural resources and the environment.
In her message, the Queen said the Commonwealth vision "inspires us to find ways of protecting our planet".
Earlier Prince Harry and Meghan visited the Canadian embassy as part of Commonwealth Day celebrations.
The multicultural, multi-faith event at Westminster Abbey saw performances and readings from representatives from throughout the Commonwealth.
Grammy-winning group, Clean Bandit were the first to perform, followed by performances of North Indian dhol drumming, and a solo by an Australian aboriginal musician on a didgeridoo.
The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke of York also attended the service.
The Prime Minister Theresa May was in the 2,000-strong congregation, as well as Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland, high commissioners, ambassadors, faith leaders, plus more than 800 schoolchildren and young people.
Cold-water swimmer, Lewis Pugh spoke at the ceremony to appeal for greater efforts to restore the health of the oceans.
Earlier, Prince Harry and Meghan kicked off the celebrations at an event at Canada House, to showcase Canadian talent in the UK.
The couple were welcomed to the embassy by Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette.
In her Commonwealth message, the Queen said the Commonwealth vision "offers hope, and inspires us to find ways of protecting our planet, and our people.
"We are able to look to the future with greater confidence and optimism as a result of the links that we share, and thanks to the networks of co-operation and mutual support to which we contribute, and on which we draw.
"With enduring commitment through times of great change, successive generations have demonstrated that whilst the goodwill for which the Commonwealth is renowned may be intangible, its impact is very real."
The Queen famously dedicated herself to the empire, which later became the Commonwealth, on her 21st birthday in 1947.
The then Princess Elizabeth said: "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family, to which we all belong."
A Service of Celebration for Commonwealth Day | BBC