Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth led the gathered guests at the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Monday, 9 March 2020.

Her Majesty was accompanied by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Commonwealth Service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom and provides an opportunity to focus attention on this voluntary association of 54 countries and their commitment to promoting democracy, human rights, the rule of law and equality for its 2.4 billion citizens.

The theme for this years’ Service, ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’, sought to highlight the many ways in which the 54 diverse countries of the Commonwealth connect.

The 2,000 strong congregation included the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson; the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Scotland; High Commissioners and Ambassadors; senior politicians from across the UK and the Commonwealth; faith leaders; and more than 800 schoolchildren and young people.

The service, which was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle, included performances by singers Alexandra Burke and Craig David:

The service also featured performances from African drumming group One-Drum and south London-based The Melodians Steel Orchestra:


Anthony Joshua OBE, British world heavyweight boxing champion and Olympic gold medallist, read a reflection in and which he spoke of his Commonwealth heritage:

“I am proudly British and Nigerian and I join a long line – perhaps too long to count – of UK citizens of Commonwealth origin who’ve made enormous contributions to this great, multi-cultural society of ours.”

Read Anthony Joshua’s message to the Commonwealth.

Spoken word poet Suli Breaks also read a reflection and sought to inspire achievement, in spite of personal circumstance. Read 'All It Takes Is One Idea'. Suli Breaks
UK Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Boris Johnson MP gave a reading from Luke 10.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Scotland, led the Act of Affirmation to the Commonwealth.

Before the service, the Griffin Schools Commonwealth Choir and the Purcell School’s Brass Quintet performed in the Abbey, and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo performed traditional Scottish dancing and music outside the Great West Door.

Commenting on the service, Chair of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Dr Linda Yueh and President of the Society, The Right Honourable the Lord Howell of Guildford PC said in a joint welcome message:

“The Royal Commonwealth Society is honoured to organise this great occasion in the Commonwealth calendar each year and is deeply grateful that, once again, the most dedicated and constant champion of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty The Queen, our Patron, is with us for today’s service. By her presence, with many of her family, The Queen reminds us all of the unending readiness and dedication required to serve great causes, and the Commonwealth of peoples and nations in particular.”

The service was broadcast live on BBC One and the BBC World Service, and is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer in the UK for the next 30 days and on the BBC YouTube channel.

Download the Order of Service


Read Her Majesty The Queen’s Commonwealth Day Message

Find out more about the Commonwealth theme.