Queen gives Commonwealth Day speech

Published: Monday 9th March 2015 by The News Editor

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The Queen will today hail the continued role of the Commonwealth, saying what the member states share is more important now than at any point in its history.

She will use her Commonwealth Day radio message to say its 53 nations are “guardians of a precious flame” with an obligation to keep it burning brightly for decades to come.

In a broadcast with the theme of A Young Commonwealth, she will warn that “when common goals fall apart, so does the exchange of ideas. And if people no longer trust or understand each other, the talking will soon stop too”.

She will say that the organisation’s members have drawn on their shared history to act on the “huge advantages of mutual co-operation and understanding” to the benefit of their citizens.

The message will also be broadcast at Westminster Abbey, where the Queen will join senior royals and leading figures from Commonwealth countries around the world for an annual ceremony.

She will say: “Not only are there tremendous rewards for this co-operation, but through dialogue we protect ourselves against the dangers that can so easily arise from a failure to talk or to see the other person’s point of view.

“Indeed, it seems to me that now, in the second decade of the 21st century, what we share through being members of the Commonwealth is more important and worthy of protection than perhaps at any other time in the Commonwealth’s existence.

“We are guardians of a precious flame, and it is our duty not only to keep it burning brightly but to keep it replenished for the decades ahead.”

The Queen will cite the success of last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as an example of “youthfulness and vitality”, saying: “As a concept that is unique in human history, the Commonwealth can only flourish if its ideas and ideals continue to be young and fresh and relevant to all generations.”

Two thousand people are expected to attend the service in central London. The Queen will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

There will also be politicians, High Commissioners, Commonwealth dignitaries and more than 1,000 children.

The Queen and Philip will later attend the traditional Commonwealth Day reception at Marlborough House, the home of the Commonwealth Secretariat, as guests of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma.

Published: Monday 9th March 2015 by The News Editor

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