What another remarkable Commonwealth Day we witnessed yesterday! 2.4 billion people across 53 member countries came together to celebrate in a variety of ways the unique union focusing on this year’s CHOGM theme: ‘Towards a Common Future’.
In London, some of our members were lucky enough to attend the Westminster Abbey Service where HM the Queen was in attendance. The service aims to celebrate the diversity of the Commonwealth and how we have more similarities with one another than differences. During the service, Ghanaian drum collective One-Drum and spoken word artists Jaspreet Kaur were among those who performed, along with Liam Payne, who sung John Meyer’s Waiting on the World to Change.
Great celebrations for #CommonwealthDay We enjoyed the service at the Abbey on behalf of @rosl1910 Talked to so many wonderful people - what joins us together is truly bigger than what separates us. pic.twitter.com/Scd6Wza2k2— Richard Walsh (@RickyWalsh1973) March 12, 2018
After the service the Royal Over-Seas League hosted the official reception for those who were unable to attend the private service at Marlborough House. The Princess Alexandra Hall was transformed into a lively, interactive space for members and guests to network. For the entertainment, we were treated by Mande Strings, a Gambian band with members from Spain, Britain, Sri Lanka, and Jamaica, who met whilst studying and teaching at SOAS University of London – the world’s leading institution for Asian, African and Middle Eastern studies.
Diana Owen opened the event with a quick speech that echoed the one made by HM The Queen at the start of the day. She spoke of how important it was that we look at our similarities and beyond the differences, and reflected on how it was important to put forgotten nations back into their rightful place in history.
Throughout the evening guests were able to enjoy wine and canapes from around the Commonwealth and could take part in our interactive stands where they could mark on a map which Commonwealth countries they had visited or sum up the Commonwealth in one word. You can see some of the photos from the evening below.