Commonwealth Day London 2021


Sunday, 7th March 2021

Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, joined by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and The Countess of Wessex, will take part in ‘A Celebration for Commonwealth Day’ – a special programme to be broadcast on BBC One on Sunday 7th March.

In Her Majesty’s annual Commonwealth Day message, the Queen will pay tribute to the way in which communities across the family of nations have come together in response to the pandemic.
Click to open the Queens message

The Prince of Wales has recorded a message addressing the universal devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. His Royal Highness will celebrate the critical work being carried out by nations across the Commonwealth to combat climate change and protect its unique landscapes, marine environments and biodiversity.

The Duchess of Cornwall has spoken to broadcaster Clare Balding about the importance of books and reading for children across the Commonwealth, especially in a year of isolation and disrupted education. Award winning teacher Ranjitsinh Disale joined the conversation in Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner via video link from India to share the experiences of his own students in using literacy to boost confidence and expand their horizons while studying from home.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have spoken to medical, charity and voluntary staff from across the Commonwealth to hear more about the work they have been carrying out to care for those within their communities. Throughout their conversations, the Duke and Duchess heard from those on the calls about what inspired them to support their communities, the impact of the vital work they are carrying out, and how they have adapted their efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marking both Commonwealth Day and International Women’s Day, which is also being celebrated on Monday 8th March, the Countess of Wessex has spoken to three women from around the Commonwealth, to hear about their experiences of supporting other women and their wider communities.

This year’s reflection will be given by two-time Commonwealth Games heptathlon champion Denise Lewis, and prayers will be led by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle.

The Commonwealth represents a global network of 54 countries, and a vast community which spans every geographical region, religion and culture, embracing diversity amongst its population of 2.4 billion people.

The Commonwealth theme for 2021 is ‘Delivering A Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’, celebrating the Commonwealth countries’ united efforts to achieve their common goals, including protecting natural resources, boosting trade, and delivering a peaceful, prosperous and more sustainable future for all.

Organised with the support of the Royal Commonwealth Society and Westminster Abbey, the programme will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Sunday 7th March at 1700hrs GMT in celebration of Her Majesty’s lifetime commitment to the Commonwealth.

The Queen was 26 years old when she became Head of the Commonwealth in 1952. This is an important symbolic and unifying role. As head, Her Majesty personally reinforces the links by which the Commonwealth joins people together from around the world.
Throughout Her Majesty’s reign, the Commonwealth has grown from just seven nations to 54 members. During this time, the Queen has undertaken more than 200 visits to Commonwealth countries and visited every country of the Commonwealth (with the exception of Cameroon, which joined in 1995 and Rwanda which joined in 2009) as well as making many repeat visits.

There are two special projects launched in recognition of Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth – The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy and Queen’s Young Leaders.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC)

Launched by the Queen at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta in 2015, an appeal was made to all Commonwealth nations to dedicate areas of indigenous forest to be preserved in perpetuity to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

Since then, 48 Commonwealth countries have dedicated more than 11.5 million hectares of indigenous forests to this visionary initiative, with a number of countries also planting new forests. Interest in the QCC continues, with a number of countries finalising their submissions. By the time of CHOGM in 2021, it is expected that all nations of the Commonwealth will have joined the QCC initiative to create a global network of indigenous forests to benefit communities and wildlife, now, and into the future.

Queen’s Young Leaders (QYL)

Between 2015-2018, 240 exceptional young people from across the Commonwealth received a Queen’s Young Leaders Award in recognition of the work they were undertaking to transform their lives and the lives of those around them. The now complete network of Queen’s Young Leaders is a unique, dedicated and powerful group of young people from Commonwealth countries who are connecting, collaborating, and changing lives together – and they will continue to do so for years to come.

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS)

The RCS, of which the Queen is patron, is a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world. Through youth empowerment, education and high-level advocacy, the RCS champions literacy, equality and inclusion, the environment and connected communities across the Commonwealth’s 54 member nations. Founded in 1868, the RCS is non-partisan, independent of governments and relies on public generosity to achieve its mission.

RCS welcome, Christchurch, Canterbury NZ 8053