Press release from Westminster Abbey
Her Majesty The Queen attended The Commonwealth Service: A Celebration of the Commonwealth at Westminster Abbey on Monday 12th March 2018.
Her Majesty was accompanied by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Ms Meghan Markle, HRH The Duke of York, HRH The Princess Royal, HRH Princess Alexandra, HRH The Countess of Wessex and HRH The Duchess of Gloucester.
In his Bidding, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said:
This year we look together Towards a Common Future, in which all can flourish and become what we are in the care and keeping of almighty God. As we give thanks for our rich diversity and for our common humanity, let us pray together for peace and unity, and that we may offer one another mutual friendship and support.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC, led the Act of Affirmation to the Commonwealth.
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Prime Minister, read Romans 12: 3-13.
Reflections were read by Jaspreet Kaur, poet and teacher; and Dr Andrew Bastawrous, Founder, Peek Vision.
During the service, there were performances by Ngāti Rānana, the London Māori Choir; Liam Payne; and the Portsmouth Gospel Choir.
Prayers were said by the Reverend Dr Martyn Atkins, Methodist Church; Patrick O’Mara, Baha’i community; Rabbi Dr Andrew Goldstein, Liberal Judaism; Mr Malcolm M Deboo, Zoroastrian community; Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Muslim community; and His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Church.
The service was sung by The Choir of Westminster Abbey, conducted by James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of the Choristers. The organ was played by Peter Holder, Sub-Organist, and before the service by Matthew Jorysz, Assistant Organist.
Before the service, One-Drum performed in the Abbey forecourt.
The flags of the 53 Commonwealth countries were processed through the Abbey at the start of the Service.
The Service was broadcast live on BBC One and the BBC World Service.