Today people across the globe will be marking Commonwealth Day, an annual celebration that has been held on the second Monday in March since 1977. From Antigua to Australia, the day will be commemorated in each of the 54 Commonwealth nations.
In the UK, the annual inter-faith Observance, organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, is being held in Westminster Abbey. The event is Britain’s largest inter-faith gathering and representatives from every major religion in the Commonwealth take part.
Today’s Commonwealth Day Observance takes on an extra special significance, as it kicks off the Commonwealth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in front of Her Majesty The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex.
1,000 children from schools and youth groups will also attend the Observance. Each student present – including the three young people who will present posies to The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex – has submitted an entry to the Royal Commonwealth Society’s ambitious digital history project, the Jubilee Time Capsule, which will be sealed later in the year and presented to The Queen as an innovative legacy of the Diamond Jubilee.
The students’ Jubilee Time Capsule entries will be displayed in the Abbey in a short film before the Observance starts and includes stories about migration, family weddings and The Queen.
In-keeping with this year’s Commonwealth theme, Connecting Cultures, there will also be performances from some of the Commonwealth’s most renowned cultural icons, including South African jazz musician and civil rights activist Hugh Masekela, and Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright.
This combination of history, culture and digital innovation promises to truly get the Commonwealth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations off to a spectacular start!