In recognition of the diversity of the Commonwealth and its role in bringing many different peoples and cultures together the theme of Commonwealth Day 2012 is ‘Connecting Cultures’.
In her annual message to the Commonwealth The Queen spoke of sharing ‘one humanity’.
“Our circumstances and surroundings may vary enormously, for example in the food we eat and the clothes we wear, but we share one humanity, and this draws us all together. The joys of celebration and sympathy of sadness may be expressed differently but they are felt in the same way the world over.” Her Majesty The Queen, Commonwealth Day Message, 2012
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh celebrated the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey on Monday 12 March. The multi-faith service was led by the Dean of Westminster and the Chairman of the Council of the Commonwealth Societies. Amongst the congregation were 1,000 thousand school children, as well senior Royals including The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Countess of Wessex. The singer Laura Wright performed ‘Stronger as One’ – a song written to commemorate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Later in the day, The Queen attended a reception at Marlborough House in London, the headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, where she met representatives from the 54 Commonwealth countries.
The Queen has been Head of the Commonwealth since 1952. Commonwealth Day is celebrated throughout the Commonwealth on the second Monday in March.
Image: Queen Elizabeth II leaves Westminster Abbey, following the Observance for Commonwealth Day Service on Monday 12 March 2012. Photo credit: Leon Neal/PA Wire.