The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at the annual Commonwealth Day Service at the Westminster Abbey. The annual staple event of the British Royal Calendar brought back the much-needed Royal normalcy but with another exception. Her Majesty The Queen decided to step back from the physical presence due to mobility issues.
Last week, Buckingham Palace announced that after the discussion with the Royal Household, the 95 years old Monarch decided to watch the service from Windsor Castle. The Queen has not attended any public engagement since October 2021 due to some health issues but carrying on Palace audiences and virtual engagements. Her Majesty asked the Prince of Wales to represent her at the service.
As the Earl and Countess of Wessex had other engagements scheduled for the day so had Princess Anne, this year’s royal presence was very senior but very minimal.
Commonwealth is a political association of 54 member states from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Pacific, headed by The Queen of the United Kingdom. Home of more than 2.6 billion people, Commonwealth was formed as the British Commonwealth of Nations through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference and formalized by the United Kingdom through the Statute of Westminster in 1931.
The term ‘Commonwealth’ was first used by British Liberal politician Lord Rosebery in Adelaide, Australia, in 1884. During a famous speech, he referred to the British Empire as ‘a Commonwealth of Nations’. In 1959, The Queen made available the former Royal Palace of Marlborough House for Commonwealth purposes, and in 1965 it became the headquarters of the newly formed Commonwealth Secretariat.
In 1952 when The Queen acceded to the throne, she also became Head of the Commonwealth – a family of nations, spanning every geographical region, religion and culture.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 14, 2022
The current Commonwealth of Nations was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949 that recognized King George VI as Head of the Commonwealth. Then Princess Elizabeth was on her first-ever Commonwealth tour when her father King George VI died in 1952 and she became the Queen. Following her father’s death, the Commonwealth leaders recognized Queen Elizabeth II as the Head of the Commonwealth and had remained the head since then. Member countries of the Commonwealth have different constitutions: a republic with a president as Head of State (such as India and South Africa), an indigenous monarchy (for example, Lesotho, Malaysia, Swaziland, and Tonga), a sultanate (Brunei), an elected Paramount Chieftaincy (Western Samoa), or a realm recognizing The Queen as Sovereign (for example the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Barbados).
In 2019, the leaders of the Commonwealth unanimously decided that after The Queen, Prince of Wales would be the head of the Commonwealth. Her Majesty sent a message of support that reflected both on past and future.
The theme for Commonwealth Day 2022 is – ‘Delivering a Common Future’ – which highlights how the 54 member countries in the Commonwealth family are ‘innovating, connecting and transforming’ to help achieve goals like fighting climate change, promoting good governance, and boosting trade. The Service is the first in-person gathering of the Commonwealth since the start of the pandemic and will reflect Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee Year with a special focus on the role that service plays in the lives of people and communities across the Commonwealth.
Did you know more than 60% of people living in Commonwealth countries are aged 29 and under?
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) March 14, 2022
Marking the day, Clarance House a new scholarship for Commonwealth students – Climate Action Scholarships for students from small island nations. The new scholarships will support students from small island nations to tackle climate change, helping them develop the skills and knowledge to address the effects of climate change in the countries they come from. Participating universities are Cambridge University UK, University of Toronto and McMaster University in Canada, and the University of Melbourne in Australia.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave Westminster Abbey.
The Duchess of Cambridge was wearing a blue Catherine Walker coat today. Thanks to UfoNoMore for the confirmation. The Coat is a customized version of the label’s Mayfair coat.
Catherine was wearing a matching dress underneath the coat.
Another new element of the look was Sean Barratt hat. The Duchess owns the same style of the hat in different shades i.e. black, brown-red, white but from Lock & Co.
The Duchess teamed up the coat with her Rupert Sanderson Malory Pumps and
She paired it with a matching Lock & Co hat.
Her Diamond and Sapphire earrings and
matching pendants were finishing the outfit. The Duchess first wore this pendant in October 2020 when she met with the President and First Lady of Ukraine.
Next, we will see the royal couple at the St Patrick’s day parade on Thursday. We can also expect another announcement from Kensington Palace regarding the upcoming Caribbean tour any day now as it starts on Saturday.