Celebrating Commonwealth Day

Britain magazine
Queen Elizabeth II

As the Queen and the Commonwealth celebrate Commonwealth Day today, we take a look at what it really means…

Britain magazine
Queen Elizabeth II

Commonwealth Day falls on the second Monday in March and has been celebrated since 1977.

The Queen celebrates Commonwealth Day in London where she attends an inter-denominational service at Westminster Abbey.

The Queen speaks to the Commonwealth on this day as the Head of the Commonwealth. This speech is unique in that it is constructed upon the Queen’s personal views, not ministerial advice.

There are 54 member countries of the Commonwealth and the Queen’s status varies between them. The members can adopt the Queen as Sovereign or as Head of the Commonwealth, if they already have their own monarch as Head of State.

The Commonwealth has been in existence for 60 years and the Queens’s speech today in 2014 signifies the power of the group and its influence on the future as she announced the theme for this year.

She said: “People of all ages from different cultures are weaving an ever-growing network of links which connect us in our diversity and our common purpose. It is this unity that is expressed in this year’s theme: ‘Team Commonwealth'”.

Listen to the full speech here:

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