The Queen and other members of the Royal Family have paid tribute to the way in which communities across the family of nations have come together in response to the pandemic in a special broadcast ahead of Commonwealth Day.
The broadcast began with Her Majesty's words, reflecting on how Commonwealth citizens have used technology to stay connected, and considers those who have shown dedication and selflessness in helping others during the pandemic.
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.
Whilst experiences of the last year have been different across the Commonwealth, stirring examples of courage, commitment and selfless dedication to duty have been demonstrated in every Commonwealth nation and territory.
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.
Other members of the Royal Family also contributed to the broadcast.
The Prince of Wales
His Royal Highness 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
The Duchess of Cornwall spoke 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
Their Royal Highnesses spoke 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.
The Countess of Wessex
Marking both Commonwealth Day and International Women’s Day, which is also being celebrated on Monday 8th March, The Countess of Wessex spoke to three women from around the Commonwealth, to hear about their experiences of supporting other women and their wider communities.
During the call, the women discussed the importance of supporting one another to share skills and how better outcomes are achieved when women are equally represented.