2016: The Queen's 90th Birthday

2016: The Queen's 90th Birthday

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Good afternoon from Westminster Abbey where a special service


is held every year to celebrate the Commonwealth, the diverse group


of 53 nations that spans almost every corner of the globe.


And on this Commonwealth Day, we also celebrate the Queen's 90th


The service will be the first major ceremonial event of Her Majesty's


She'll be joined here at the Abbey by the Duke of Edinburgh,


the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.


The Commonwealth has grown significantly during her be reign


and she has always championed it. She comes to the Abbey for this


service every year. It is a very international gathering


as you would expect. For a Commonwealth of 53 nations and it is


also an unusual service for Westminster Abbey because there are


representatives of other faiths who will be taking part and offering


their reflections and their prayers during the course of the service. If


you would like to follow it, you can go to www. Www.. BBC do.


Co/Commonwealth day and download an order of service and follow it


there. The congregation of 2,000 people in the Abbey this afternoon.


1,000 of them young people because the Commonwealth has a very young


population and among the rather young people are schoolchildren who


are here for the service. The Commonwealth youth orchestra will be


performing. They are already playing now and just standing behind them,


the Commonwealth Youth Choir. Well in many ways the Commonwealth


today is the result of decades of dedication by president Queen


herself because from the beginning of her reign she has carefully


nurtured relationships between countries to build this unique


association. God Save The Queen. The young Queen Elizabeth II in 1953,


the year she embarked on her first tour of Commonwealth countries and


overseas territories. She visited among others, Fiji, Sri Lanka,


Australia, and Gibraltar. She spoke of the emerging new model of the


Commonwealth in her Christmas radio broadcast from New Zealand. The


Commonwealth bears no resemblance to the Empires of the past. It is an


entirely new conception built on the highest qualities of the spirit of


man, friendship, loyalty, and the desire for three dom and peace.


The Queen has held the position of Head of the Commonwealth for more


than 60 years. Individual virtue of tolerance and understanding by


virtue of tolerance and understanding, the xwelt has evolved


into 36 nations, spanning the five Continents. She has been


instrumental in bringing together leaders from all over the world in a


spirit of family, and connection. Out of the old empire strange the


Commonwealth family of nations we know today and that too has grown


and changed over the years. Very much in the spirit of a family


gathering. She has moved the Commonwealth forward into a modern


age. It was very nice having everybody here last night. We


enjoyed it very much. Today, the Commonwealth consists of 53 diverse


countries and for more than six decades, the Queen's ability to


connect with people has brought them together.


So of the 53 nations that of part of the Commonwealth today, the Queen


herself has been to almost all of them, 51 out of the 53, a sign of


her commitment over the years. Well, as we wait for Her Majesty to arrive


at the Abbey on this Commonwealth day, I'm joined by Dr Sue Onslow,


senior lecturer at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. What would you


say the Commonwealth means to the Queen, Sue?


The Commonwealth means an enormous amount to the Queen. It is part, it


is a key part of her life's work. She is Queen of 16 individual


Commonwealth countries as well as being formal head of that


association you referred to. She has been able to travel around the


Commonwealth to enjoy its exuberance, but I think her personal


contribution has been enormous. She has been part of the invisible glue


of this association. Well, we are looking now at some of the


medallists from the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,


Isabel Pooley of England, sam man that Kinghorn of Scotland and with


them athletes from the Commonwealth Youth Games.


You were talking about the Queen's role in the Commonwealth, Sue, as if


it was quite personal to her, not just a role she has to do? It is


very personal and she gets a great deal of pleasure from it. She worked


consistently throughout her reign to give substance to this role, it is


not just that she is a symbolic head. There is a symbol now of the


flags of the Commonwealth nations being carried into the Abbey. This


is where you get a true visual sense of the immense reach of this


organisation, the flags are carried in, in the order that nations join


the Commonwealth so at the front the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia,


New Zealand, and then further back, many of the African countries that


became independent in the 1960s in the middle there and then towards


the back, the nations that have joined the Commonwealth more


recently. Some very recently, Sue, which shows the appeal that this


organisation still has. Indeed and there are others that are very much


part of the list of wanting to join, south Sudan, Yemen, Palestine, so


this is an attractive association to those that are still outside it.


The flags are going to be carried through the Abbey and then they will


be put in their place behind the congregation where they will remain


until the service comes to an end. Well during the service, we will


hear the former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan who is


from Ghana, a Commonwealth country. He will be speaking during the


service and he is with Ore Oduba now. Good afternoon, thank you very


much. As we saw there, all the flags of the Commonwealth member states


coming past us. I have been joined by a proud began anywayian, Kofi


Annan, it is a pleasure to see you here. It is an honour for you to be


here. Tell us how important it is to you, Commonwealth day and the


Commonwealth itself? The Commonwealth is a unique


organisation, bringing together so many countries and really sharing


something with two billion people, different cultures, different


religions and we embrace purlity and diversity and to celebrate those in


the world of today is absolutely essential and it shouldn't just be


important for the Commonwealth but other groupingings and other


organisations and countries which are outside the Commonwealth. Well,


it is a celebratory day and we were saying before how great it is to see


how many happy children in here as well. Absolutely. Just how important


is it that the Commonwealth is here to maintain relations between


nations and such diverse nations as well? In today's world it is


absolutely essential. Very few countries can tackle the challenges


we have today on their own. You have to work across borders. You have to


work with other countries. It is such an inter-dependant world and we


have no choice and the Commonwealth that brings countries together, not


just the countries, but the citizens of these countries, whether in


sports, or in education, and other areas, it is extremely important and


I think the young people here today are also an expression of the belief


of the future generations in what has been achieved by the


Commonwealth and this is why we need to trust them and encourage them and


encourage them to lead and to build on what we have achieved. They are


the leaders of tomorrow. So it is so exciting to see so many of them here


today. Well, we are looking forward to hearing a reading from you and


I'm sure the sentiments will come across. Kofi Annan, a pleasure to


talk to you. Well, we will be seeing the members


of the Royal Family arriving shortly for the beginning of the service.


Kofi Annan is a man with tremendous experience of negotiation and he can


imagine what a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is like. That is


when these countries come together and Sue Onslow, you know what those


are like because you have been to one? I was at Malta last


Novemberment there are formal elements where heads get together to


discuss in close session and they have their informal retreat where


they can compare notes on what is troubling them. The Queen's role is


formally in opening it, but she adds that, that welcome presence to a


Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. What is discussed? When in


terms of the acute concerns of small states in climate change,


radicalisation across societies, last heads of Government meeting


achieved in fact extraordinary outcomes on those two issues. Is the


Commonwealth in a better place than it was a few years ago? There was


criticism for example when Sri Lanka hosted the heads of Government


meeting because of its Human Rights record? That was a controversial


meeting. I would say that the Commonwealth is certainly in a


better place, although its potential for future improvement is certainly


there, it has been criticised for not making enough progress on


democracy and Human Rights so there is room for improvement.


Well there is Ellie Goulding coming into the Abbey now. She is going to


be performing and she told me earlier that she saw this as a very


special occasion, a welcome interlude from a very intense period


because she is in the midst of a World Tour at the moment and in fact


she announced recently that she is going to be taking a break from


music. So we'll hear her perform Sting's Fields Of Gold during the


service. Half of the congregation here are


young people and amongst them are recipients of the Queen's young


leader award. Each year it celebrates 60 exceptional people


from across the Commonwealth. All over the world young volunteers


are transforming their communities. The Commonwealth actually impour we


ares young people. It is a privilege to be one of the 60 people who will


be receiving the award from the Queen. It was something I really


didn't expect. On the island of Malta, 20-year-old


Sara set-up up a social media campaign after her experiences while


wearing a Muslim headscarf. You're walking in the street and people


spit at you and people are like say go back to your own country. I feel


so That is unacceptable. So basically me and my colleagues


decided it is racism and discrimination about general and


then we uploaded pictures with students holding boards spreading


positive members to discuss what really is it meant being a human


being? In Bangladesh Osama developed an online resource to help young


people start their careers. We publish international


scholarship, internship. We are passionate about this. We have


received a huge response from abroad and we have 99,000 representatives.


In Cambridge, 20-year-old Ella realised how teenagers miss out on


important life skills when they become the main carer for their


families. I became a young carer when my mum had her heart attack.


One day everything is normal and everything is fine and everybody is


happy and the next day your whole life changes. I set-up Take the Lead


and it is all about public speaking and interview skills and building


their confidence so that they feel they can do pretty much anything.


Gained confidence. For their exceptional work, 60 young


volunteers including Ella, Osama and Sarah will join a leadership course


at Cambridge University. It is something huge. The fact that you


get to share your thoughts with so many people and to know that they


are interested in what you are trying to promote. I think that's


fantastic. I'm lost for words. And Sara will be giving a Reflection


in the service. Ellie Goulding will be performing. Next to her is Simon


who is a bass from South Africa who will be performing for us. Next to


him, the poet a Tuvalu Doctor Who told me earlier she feels she


carries the concerns of the smaller nations, the Pacific nations here


with her today into the Abbey. The Prime Minister, David Cameron,


is here. He is in his seat now. The congregation are standing up because


the faith processors are stepping into the Abbey now. A special moment


in this service. Special also because this is unusual. In fact,


it's the Lord Mayor who is walking in now.


When we see the faith leaders, it will be symbolic, not just of the


number of faiths represented in the Commonwealth, but also a reflection


of the importance that the Queen places on faith. Sues on low, she


will appreciate the strong representation of different faiths


within this service -- Sue Onslow? Absolutely. The Queen who herself is


a devout Christian and takes her role seriously, she's a great


supporters of multifaith worship, of the different faiths. She feels it


high lites the shared values across the Commonwealth.


Kofi Annan who we heard from a moment ago is here with his wife.


He'll be speaking later. Here are the faith leaders now processing


into the Abbey. There are members of the Zooastrian


community. Chief Rabbi's representative, the Sikh community.


Buddhist community. Hindu community. The Muslim community. Both the


Jewish reform synagogues and liberal Judaism represented as well, as the


Chief Rabbi's representative. Also other denominations of Christianity.


The methodist church, the church of Scotland, the Coptic Orthodox Church


and Roman Catholic Church and also the Orthodox Church. His emnans


Archbishop Gregorious is here. A strong statement of the breadth of


faith across this very diverse group of nations -- His Emanence.


John Major is with Ore now. I know Sir John you have been


enjoying the music being played around the Abbey today. I have, very


familiar and lovely music. But the Trust, of course, is a Trust set up


to help the Queen's legacy. We asked the Queen what she would prefer as a


legacy and she said two things, both for the Commonwealth, firstly to end


forms of avoidable blindness across the Commonwealth and secondly to


fine and bring forward and help future young leaders. It's an


indication of her great affection for the Commonwealth. Yes. Your


relationship with Her Majesty is a long-standing one. Take us inside


her operation, tell us what it is that makes her work so hard to


maintain the relations between 50 of odd member states? You have to look


at the history of it. When the Queen became Monarch, the Commonwealth was


three or four nations, certainly no more. It's now I think 53. It's a


hugely successful worldwide operation. From very large,


confident, relatively rich nations, to some of the smallest, least


well-off nations in the world. It's a unique mixture. There's never been


anything like it and I don't think there ever could be anything else


like it. The Queen has a great affection for it. Why is it so


important to her? Because for the whole time of her reign, the


Commonwealth's been such an important part, as you say? It's


partly the diversity. The sheer diversity of bringing together so


many nations with so many interests and such a great difference in the


way in which they live. That's something the Queen finds very


attractive. And the fact that she and it have both grown up to be what


it is today during her period as Monarch. I think that makes for a


great affinity between the two, Queen the Commonwealth on one hand


and Her Majesty the Queen on the other hand. Commonwealth Day always


special but extra special this year as we celebrate her 90th year. What


more can you say about Her Majesty, as she continues to drive forward


and lead the Commonwealth? Well, it is quite remarkable isn't it? Most


people, 65, 70, 75, they hang out their boots, hang up their careers


and rest. The Queen at 90 and the Duke a couple of years older, are


still working extraordinarily hard. They have ensured the rest of the


Royal Family do as well. That is a very remarkable example of duty and


I think also of devotion to the Commonwealth.


Remarkable indeed. Many people echoing your sentiments. Pleasure to


talk to you. Thank you. The Queen will be arriving in the


next few minutes with the other members of the Royal Family.


The Duke, and others. Sue, the Queen's marked Commonwealth day by


issuing her message in line with the theme of the Commonwealth this year,


an inclusive Commonwealth. She talks about the importance of accepting


diversity and says it goes far deeper than accepting differences of


face value, far deeper than simply being tolerant? Kofi Annan picked up


on this point when he talked about celebrating diversity and the


interdependent world. For the Queen, the Commonwealth is really identity


politics in the best and most inclusive way. She's used her


Commonwealth Day messages consistently over the years to


emphasise important themes of democracy, human rights and so


inclusivity is a significant point make today.


Particularly important when you make it to a worldwide audience where so


many of these nations are at different stages of the development


of their democracy, different stages of their economic development as


well. Indeed. The Queen herself has said in the past that it's difficult


to take decisions to implement democracy, it can be very hard but


she's been a consistent source of encouragement for that very


progress. She's needed to, because there have


been difficult episodes in the history of this organisation?


Absolutely. There have been some extremely fractious points the


Commonwealth's come close to breaking up. One thing has been


sure, which is that the Queen's consistent on going on subtle and


important support. The congregation are all in their


places. You can see the emphasis of the young people of the Commonwealth


when you look across the congregation. The Queen's young


leaders are here, Adam Bradford and Ella McKenzie among those chosen for


that rather special award. A long tradition of the Queen also,


Sue, talking to the people of the Commonwealth, in fact that famous


vow that she made in 1947, dedicating her life to the service


of the People. She meant the people of the Commonwealth, not just the


United Kingdom? Completely. That famous broadcast from Cape Town in


1947 in fact set out many of the themes that the Queen has made it


her life's work to fulfil. She has driven that forward consistently


over the 60-year period. What would you say it's achieved as an


organisation? The trouble with the Commonwealth, so much of its work is


below the surface, like an iceberg. It has professional and civil


society organisations. Its heads of Government meet every two years,


that's the most visible part of the activities but it's by no means all.


There's the congregation on this beautiful spring day outside the


Abbey and beautiful flowers inside the Abbey as well.


Chosen to reflect all the different colours of the Commonwealth flags. I


was speaking earlier to the lady who was in charge of the National


Association of Flower Arrangers. They have come from all over the


United Kingdom, the colours represent the colours within the


Commonwealth flag and also have been selected to emphasise unity.


Very appropriate on a day like this. It's not just a congregation with a


tremendous age range well beyond what you would normally see in the


Abbey, but also tremendously international. There you see former


Prime Minister Sir John Major and, behind him, the Shadow Foreign


Secretary, Hilary Benn, sitting next to Hugo Squire, Minister of State at


the Foreign Office. Just further along in the choir,


Baroness Scotland, Patricia Scotland, who we will see a lot more


of in the future because she is the next Secretary General of the


Commonwealth. And this is the car that is bringing


the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the Abbey this afternoon.


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry arriving at the


West Gate of the Abbey. They'll be greeted by members of the


clergy led by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr


John Hall who will be leading this afternoon's service.


In recent years, we've seen all three of them visit several


Commonwealth countries, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went to New


Zealand and Australia, for example, with the young prince George and


they'll be visiting India in April, a significant visit, their first


visit to that country. There the Duke of Cambridge meeting members of


the clergy first of all. And next in the line to meet the


Royal Family, you can see the Secretary General of the


Commonwealth standing in the black coat, Camilla Sharma. He's served


already for two terms. He's a former Indian diplomat, a former High


Commissioner, Indian High Commissioner to London. So this will


be his final Commonwealth Day service as Secretary General.


His wife is there next to him. And the Prime Minister of Malta, the


honable Dr Joseph Muscat, he will be giving one of the readings in the


service today and he's the current Commonwealth chair in office. Malta


hosted the last Commonwealth heads of government meeting that took


place in November last year. The Queen herself attended.


His wife accompanying him here. We also have Lord Howell of


Guildford, President of the Royal Commonwealth Society. They organised


today's service. They've been instrumental in what has gone into


the service. The Director of The Royal Commonwealth Society too.


Greeting the members of the Royal Family as they enter just before the


start of the service. The Duke of Cambridge made a speech


at the Commonwealth Office not that long ago where he said the


Commonwealth stands for the possibility of a community of


nations, people of different races, ethnicities and religions, working


together for humanity's common good. He said, that is why my grandmother


is so committed to the Commonwealth, it stands for an ideal as much as it


does for a reality. The Duchess of Cambridge and also


Prince Harry there. And there's the car bringing the Queen to the Abbey.


She is accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke of York is


also going to be attending. A tremendous turn-out outside on this


wonderfully sunny spring afternoon to greet her. We will hear the State


trumpeters in a minute with the fanfare to announce the arrival of


Her Majesty. The Queen is being led into the


Abbey by the Dean of Westminster. She has come here on so many


previous occasions including many Commonwealth Day services. This one


happens to be taking place just ahead of her 90th birthday.


As did the other members of the Royal Family before her, she is


going to be greeted by members of the clergy who will be taking part


in the procession and indeed, in the service itself.


There she is greeting the Prime Minister of Malta. Malta is very


special to her because it is where she lived as a young naval wife for


two years while the Duke was stationed there as a serving Royal


Naval officer. And she will now be taking her place ready for the


procession to begin. # God Save the Queen God


save our gracious Queen, # Long live our noble Queen,


God save the Queen! # Send her victorious,


Happy and glorious, # Long to reign over us,


God save the Queen! # Praise him in the height,


rejoice in his word, # ye angels of light,


ye heavens, adore him # by whom ye were made,


and worship before him, # Praise him upon earth,


in tuneful accord, # ye sons of new birth,


praise him who hath brought # you his grace from above,


praise him who hath taught # All things that give sound,


each jubilant chord # reecho around, loud


organs, his glory # forth tell in deep tone,


and sweet harp, the story # Thanksgiving and song


to him be outpoured # For love in creation,


for heaven restored, # for grace of salvation,


O praise ye the Lord! On behalf of the dean and chapter I


welcome you warmly to Westminster Abbey for our annual celebration of


the Commonwealth. In a year in which we particularly give thanks for the


90th birthday of Her Majesty, the Queen, Head of the Commonwealth.


This year's theme is an inclusive Commonwealth. So as we give thanks


for our diversity of faiths, and for the variety of resources and


circumstances of our countries, and remembering, but especially at this


time, the people of Fiji after their recent devastating tornado. Let us


pray that we maybe united in one common bond of mutual support and


friendship. First we pray in the words of Jesus for the coming of


God's Kingdom of justice and peace. Our Father, who art in heaven,


hallowed be thy name, come, thy will be done,


on earth as it is in heaven. And forgive us our trespasses,


as we forgive those And lead us not into temptation,


but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom,


the power, and the glory, Now one of the Queen's young


leaders, who is from Malta. It is a great honour for me today as


the Queen's young leader to be delivering this reflection. I'm


delighted to witness such a wide representation of different nations


and religions. Today, we celebrate the establishment of a unique and


global community. A community with a strong sense of unity and


inclusivity. A community that cannot strive if there is racism,


xenophobia, hom owe phobia and other divisions of fear and hate between


us. An inclusive Commonwealth champions the values of respect and


understanding, equity and fairness. One cannot embrace these values


without understanding that beyond each of these words lies a long


stugle and for this reason I would like to honour those people who have


lost their lives in the pursuit of dignity and equality, to be achieved


in this world. It is not enough that these values are established in the


Commonwealth charter. Together we must ensure that we bring them to


life by practising them every day of our lives. Every day, I strive to


eliminate racism, xenophobia and discrimination in my community by


promoting an inclusive education, discussing with young people the way


forward, and encouraging dialogue to bridge differences and live in an


inclusive society. We aim to reduce Islamophobia, overcome fears and


eliminate prejudices and judgements, by educating and informing people


about Islam. It has been a challenging year for the Muslim


community because of the rise of violent extremism and terrorist


attacks all over the world. Together, with millions of fellow


Muslims, I condemn such barbaric acts.


I live in Malta, a developed country where I have food, shelter and a


good education. However, I have been the vim of racism, xenophobia


because of my faith. We must not under estimate the power of the


virtual world, especially social media where hatred can be expressed


with impunity. In an effort to address the bad experiences of my


community, my colleague, Naomi and I established a social media campaign


hashtag redefining us. This campaign is intended to raise awareness about


what defines a Maltese person and strives to empower people who have


encountered extremism. Helping them of the best way to confront people


who have xenophobic dialogue. In a Commonwealth that welcomes


everybody, we should strive together to ensure that all human beings have


their fundamental rights respected and that the values of the


Cheltenham Charter are put into practise. This is not a call to


action for young people who form 60% of the Commonwealth's population,


but a call to our leaders also. My experience of advocating for social


inclusion and peace has taught me that change is not a single lecture,


but a long and time-consuming process. However, I have also come


to realise that every single action no matter how small can bring about


positive change. It is time for us to wake up to the realities around


us, to understand the pain that others are going through and the


difference is no longer an option. Support and empowerment and


education are the way forward. We must empower the vulnerable people


in our communities because humanity does not live up to its full


potential when we are divided and not united. Thank you.


APPLAUSE # all ye lands: serve the Lord


with gladness, and come. # And not we ourselves,


we are his people, # Into his gates with thanks-giving,


and into his courts with praise: # Be thankful unto him,


unto him and speak good of his name. # For the Lord is gracious,


his mercy is everlasting. # And his truth endureth


from generation to generation, # Glory be to the Father,


and to the Son. Let's talk about unity


in London's Westminster Abbey. Did you know there's


a London in Kiribati? We're connected by currents


of humanity alliances, allegiances, histories


for the salt in the sea, like the salt in our blood


like the dust of our bones, our return to mud means while 53


flags fly for our countries they're stitched from the


fabric of our unity. It's called the Va in Samoan


philosophy what you do, affects me. What we do, affects


the sea land, wildlife. Nature's model of unity pollinating


from flower to seed bees thrive in hives keeping their queen


unity keeps them alive, keeps them buzzing they're key


to our fruit and vege supplies but parasitic attacks and pesticides


threaten the bees then you and me There's a 'U' and an 'I' in unity


costs the earth and yet it's free. My grandad's from Tuvalu and to be


specific it's plop bang The smallest of our 53 commonwealth


nations the largest in terms Ancestors were guided by sky and sea


trails way before Columbus even What we leave behind,


matters to those who go before we face the future with our backs,


sailing shore to shore we're earning and saving for our common wealth


a common strong body, For the salt in the sea,


like the salt in our blood like the dust of our bones,


our return to mud means saving the ocean, saving the bee means


London's UK seeing London's Kiribati and sharing our thoughts over a cup


of tea for there's a 'U' and an 'I' in unity costs the earth


and yet it's free. APPLAUSE. And now Ellie Goulding who


is going to sing Fields of Gold by Sting.


# You'll remember me when the west wind moves.


# You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky.


# In his arms she fell as her hair came down.


# We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky.


# And there have been some that I've broken.


# But I swear in the days still left.


# And there have been some that I've broken.


# But I swear in the days still left.


# Many years have passed since those summer days.


# See the children run as the sun goes down.


# You'll remember me as the west wind moves.


# You can tell the sun in his jealous sky.


# When we walked in fields of gold #.


APPLAUSE. And now, there's going to be a reading given by the Prime


Minister of Malta, the honable Dr Joseph Muscat.


Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast


to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one


Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit,


serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient


Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend


Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.


Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.


Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty,


but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.


Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble


If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live


The Prime Minister of Malta. Now we are going to hear from the South


African bas who will be singing a traditional song, often sung at


weddings where it's set to bring about good fortune.


# Igqirha lendlela kuthwa nguqongqothwane.


# Igqirha lendlela kuthwa nguqongqothwane.


# Ebeqabel' egqithapha uquongqothwane.


# Ebeqabel' egqithapha ugongqothwane.


# Igqirha lendlela kuthwa nguqongqothwane.


# Igqirha lendlela kuthwa nguqongqothwane.


# Ebeqabel' egqithapha ugongqothwane Ebeqabel' egqithapha ugongqothwane.


# Igqirha lendlela nguqongqothwane Igqirha lendlela kuthwa


# Igqirha lendlela kuthwa nguqongqothwane.


# Igqirha lendlela kuthwa nguqongqothwane.


# Igqirha lendlela nguqongqothwane. ugongqothwane.


# Igqirha lendlela kuthwa nguqongqothwane.


# Ebeqabel' egqithapha ugongqothwane.#


bbc.co.uk APPLAUSE


Now we are going to hear from Kofi Annan with his reflection on


Commonwealth Day. That's a Ghanaian who feels very


much a part of the Commonwealth family. It is both a privilege and a


pleasure to speak here today. The Commonwealth has the unique place


and role within the international community. It harnesses the creative


energy, traditions and values of more than two billion people around


the world. It strongly promotes democracy, good governance, Human Ri


sustainable development. These represent the interdependent pillars


of any fair, healthy and democratic society as there can be no peace


without inclusive development and no development without peace. And no


society can long remain prosperous without rule of law and respect for


Human Rights. As well as building and strengthening invaluable links


between member countries and their citizens, it also provides the


Commonwealth, the Commonwealth also provides practical support from


election monitoring, to promoting trade and security co-operation.


Education, and school and university level is a further area where the


rewards of closer ties and co-operation are ours to seize.


Today, the Commonwealth stands as a confident, modern, multi-cultural


and proudly inclusive organisation. Let me dwell on the word,


"Inclusive" For a moment because it has a central place in the


Commonwealth's founding document. This was the people at its heart, at


the centre and declares that plurality and diversity are the


greatest strengths. It also means that we must constantly strive to


ensure that no child, woman or man is excluded or left behind. These


are enduring principles which not only bind us together as citizens of


the Commonwealth, but are absolutely critical for our collective


ambitions for our world. It has never been more important for the


Commonwealth to stress the bonds of human compassion and solidarity that


unites us across the divides of race and religion, gender and geography.


It is also why I'm so pleased to see the royal Commonwealth society has


brought together so many young people to enjoy this celebration.


They represent the more than one billion young people who will


provide our greatest hope for the future. We must trust and nurture


them in the timeless values of the Commonwealth. We should be confident


that if we provide them with the opportunity, they will continue to


build on what has been achieved. No individual has made a greater


contribution to these achievements than Your Majesty. You have shown an


waivering and steadfast devotion to this grand project. We are greatly


honoured and deeply grateful for your extraordinary commitment to its


people. I would like to express my best wishes to you and your family


in the year in which you celebrate your 90th birthday. Let me conclude


by thanking Secretary-General, Camilla Sharma for his invaluable


service and leadership and welcome his successor Baroness Scotland.


Finally, may I also extend my best wishes to all members of the


Commonwealth. We can go forward in the confidence that history has


shown how much more we can achieve together. Thank you.


APPLAUSE And following that reflection from the former UN


Secretary-General, the congregation will sing the hymn Let All The World


In Every Corner Sing. # Let all the world in every corner


sing, My God and King! # The heavens are not too high,


His praise may thither fly, # The earth is not too low,


His praises there may grow. # Let all the world in every corner


sing, My God and King! # The Church with psalms must shout,


No door can keep them out, # But above all, the heart Must


bear the longest part. # Let all the world in every corner


sing, My God and King!# And now we will hear from some of


those representing different faith communities.


The Lotus Sutra is as if a great cloud arises in the world


This beneficent cloud contains moisture.


It conceals the sun and cools the earth.


Everywhere, equal, and immeasurable the rain pours down


The dry earth is moistened everywhere and the herbs and trees


Out of this cloud the same rain waters these grasses,


He appears in the world as a great cloud which covers


Once appearing in this world he illuminates and explains


the essence of the teachings for the sake of sentient beings.


The Great Seer, the Bhagavat, expounds this to the assembly


of all the heavenly beings and humans.


In the eighth-century BCE Hebrew prophet Isaiah declared,


in days to come, Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria,


a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the God


of the hosts of heaven has blessed, saying, "Blessed be Egypt,


my people, and Assyria, the work of my hands,


Today we are all the children of Egypt, and of Assyria,


Eternal God, we pray for the coming of the day when all your children


will live together in peace and friendship when oppression,


discrimination, and prejudice, will be relics of the past,


and all humanity will be filled with your spirit.


May such a time come soon, and last forever.


Let us walk together, let us sing together,


in togetherness we can understand each


other's minds, thus did the ancient seers


share together to reach their divine ends.


May our intentions come together, may our


hearts become inseperable, may our minds


become as one to truly know one another,


O God, we thank you for these moments of prayer, and for all that


you have given us since we were born, up to this moment.


Make us appreciate what you have given us and inspire us


to use your blessings in a way that would not displease you.You have


You have given us wealth and comfort,


with others, and to dispense comfort to all.


Help us to make our wealth a common wealth, and our common wealth


Bless us with peace, and do not punish us with war.


Bless us with understanding, and do not punish us with ignorance.


Forgive us for what we do in your name.


Pardon what we do in the name of your most honourable messengers.


Give us faith, fill our hearts with love and benevolence,


As we gather together in the spirit of the unity and diversity of our


Commonwealth, we give thanks to your Lord for the faithful stewardship of


Her Majesty, the Queen and pray that you continue to grant her and all


who lead with her your blessing, wisdom and support. We thank you


Father for your image and likeness what is equally bestowed upon all


humanity. Remembering all those affected by the current turmoil in


the Middle East and the resulting crisis of displacement across the


world. Those who are unable to live with this dignity, that the hearts


of their oppressors are softened through the realisation and the


value of sacredness of every life and the dignity of all humanity.


# O, clap your hands, all ye people,


# Shout unto God with the voice of triumph.


# For the Lord most high is terrible,


# His a great King over all the earth.


# The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.


# Sing praises to God, sing praises to God,


# Sing praises, sing praises, sing praises,


# Sing praises unto our King, Sing praises,


# The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.


# Sing praises to God, sing praises to God,


# Sing praises, sing praises, sing praises,


# Sing praises unto our King, Sing praises,


Now we'll hear from the Secretary-General of the


Commonwealth, his excellence Camilla Sharma. As Commonwealth


Secretary-General, it's been my privilege in the past eight years to


visit every one of her 53 member states.


I have seen the attraction of the Commonwealth connection, the


exceptional regard that it enjoys and the sense of kinship and


affinity that informs it. There's a bond within the


Commonwealth that sets it apart. Partnership based on shared


Commonwealth values and principles, especially mutual respect, is


treasured. The Commonwealth sets a high premium on being inclusive of


our theme for the year and in being all-embracing and leaving no-one


behind, whether nationally or globally.


The Commonwealth is particularly affirming and encouraging of her


young citizens as nation-builders. The Commonwealth provides avenues


for working together that help the larger family of Commonwealth


organisations. That is unique in its richness and in its contribution and


in its diversity. We are now bound closer together in practical ways in


our shared aspirations. In many different ways and at many different


levels. Ideas and knowledge are shared in the Commonwealth family,


across the globe, in the spirit of goodwill and partnership.


Taking strength from its diversity, the Commonwealth succeeds in


creating common ground on which to stand together in answering the


challenges of our times. Mutual support with respect and


understanding for the dignity and on David Trimble yuetion of all gives


potency to the acclaimed convening power of the Commonwealth.


Globalisation, the digital revolution and interdependence make


us both rapingly compacting but also a colliding world. The strengths of


the Commonwealth were never needed more to assert global outcomes and


Strouss in the richness of her human identities. The creation of the


modern Commonwealth was one of the greatest acts of statesmanship and


collective faith in the 20th century.


It's justified the faith by the whiches Dom and contribution it's


brought to the world we share. Freedom and diversity makes it a


template for the world and gives it its healing touch.


The conviction of the Commonwealth is, and the human community, is


indevisible. All societies, irrespective of size, have an equal


right to A Place In The Sun. The eagle to soar needs all its


feathers. We need to pledge ourselves afresh to uphold an serve


the values of the fellowship of the Commonwealth.


We affirm that every person possesses unique worth and dignity.


We affirm our respect for nature, and that we will be stewards


of the earth by caring for every part of it,


We affirm our belief in justice for everyone,


and peace between peoples and nations.


Joining together in kinship and affinity as members of one


worldwide Commonwealth family, we celebrate this great global good,


the value it adds for all humanity, and the encouragement we each


receive as members of "An Inclusive Commonwealth".


We cherish the spirit of teamwork that inspires us,


and the ties of friendship that enable us to work with one another


towards creating just and peaceful societies,


achieving sustainable and inclusive social progress,


advancing democracy, and building economic resilience


with prosperity in which all citizens can share.


We affirm our belief in the Commonwealth as a force


for good in the world, and pledge ourselves to its service,


Following that collective act of affirmation to the Commonwealth, the


final hymn, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.


# Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven, to earth come down,


# Fix in us thy humble dwelling, all thy faithful mercies crown!


# Jesus thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art,


# Visit us with thy salvation, enter every trembling heart.


# Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit into every troubled breast!


# Let us all in thee inherit, let us find that second rest.


# Come, Almighty to deliver, let us all thy life receive,


# Suddenly return and never, nevermore thy temples leave.


# Thee we would be always blessing, serve thee as thy hosts above,


# Pray and praise thee without ceasing,


# Finish, then, thy new creation, pure and spotless let us be.


# Let us see thy great salvation perfectly restored in thee,


# From glory into glory, till in heaven we take our place,


# Till we cast our crowns before thee, lost in wonder,


Unto God's gracious mercy and protection


The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine


upon you, and be gracious unto you.


The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you,


and give you peace, and the blessing of God


almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy


Spirit, be among you and remain with you


MUSIC: Allegro Maestoso from Sonata in G Op 28 by Edward Elgar


The Commonwealth flag comes into the centre of the Abbey for the final


procession at the end of this service. It's carried by the vice


chair of the Commonwealth Youth Council. And the Commonwealth mace


is being carried by the Chair of the Commonwealth Youth Council from


Malaysia who told me before the service that, not only did he


consider it a great honour to be carrying the mace, which is only


used on important Commonwealth occasions, but that, as the chair of


the Commonwealth Youth Council and having this role close to the Queen


in this procession, he thinks it's symbolic of the youth of the


Commonwealth, the fact that so many of the citizens of these 53


countries are so young. Dr Sue Onslow has been watching the


service with me and, the Queen's been to many of these Commonwealth


Day services. What did you make of this one?


The Queen has led by example, she's called before for the Commonwealth


to use deeds, as well as words. These were fine words. There is a


positive energy now about the Commonwealth. It needs to put into


practise what Kofi Annan called for in support for human rights and


democracy. A sense of the Commonwealth is a force for good,


those were the words we heard today. Absolutely. As an organisation that


permits people -- promotes people working together, stresses their


humanity and shared values. It's an added organisation in that it makes


people feel better about each other and in today's Dwighteded world,


that's only for the good -- divided world. It's a knew nook association


of states. What do they get out of it, this is a network? Very much a


network. The Commonwealth doesn't have a large development budget, its


heads only meet every couple of years, but it's that very network,


the interconnectedness that we can definitely exploit, particularly in


this digital age. How much does it depend on what the Queen's done and


what younger members of the Royal Family have done in making that


effort to travel to these distant parts of the globe? As the Duke of


Cambridge said, he said he sees the family as an ideal. Its informality


is key, can you ever card. The future of the Commonwealth. What


will the General Secretary bring to the role? A Unique contribution, a


woman, a child of the Commonwealth, born in the Caribbean and educated


and achieved her professional standing here in England. I think


that, as I said, there is a positive energy about the Commonwealth going


forward, but he needs the support of key heads and can't do it all by


herself. The heads of Government. Well, the Queen is nearly at the


door of the Abbey now and is meeting the performers who we met during the


service -- saw during the service, Ellie Goulding she sang after the


service and also sang at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of


Cambridge. Waiting to greet the Queen is the


lady who delivered the powerful reflection of her experience of


racism in a Commonwealth country and in the presence Sue, of her own


Prime Minister. It was a strong and dignified message and I was watching


Dr Muscat's face as she was delivering it. He was listening


intently. It is a reminder of the battles that some of the


marginalised communities within this Commonwealth feel and how relevant


that theme of an inclusive Commonwealth is. Absolutely, she was


highlighting the day-to-day lived experiences and this was an


extraordinary celebration of inclusivity in the Commonwealth. I


was also struck by the particularly strong contribution from the Muslim


community here which was very pleasing to see. Well sh the Dean of


Westminster is standing with the Queen. He is pointing her in the


direction of the role of honour of civilian war dead from the Second


World War. It is seven leather bound volumes in a case just by the Abbey


door. More than 60,000 civilian fatalities between 1939 and 1945,


their names are listed in the volumes and the Queen has paused to


have a look as she prepares to leave the Abbey. Other members of the


Royal Family are still in that line of people who are saying farewell to


them as they leave at the end of this Commonwealth Day service. The


flags that we saw process out of the Abbey are now outside and they've


lined up behind the choir. We will see them in a moment, but there is


the Queen receiving one of the many bouquets of flowers she will have


had during her reign. And there are members of the choir waiting to


greet her at the end this. James O'Donnell, the organist and master


of the choristers who directed the choir today. He has been presented


to the Queen. She is talking to stop to him for a moment about the


service. The Abbey choristers who played such a special role. At the


end of the line two of the senior choristers are waiting to give Her


Majesty an early birthday present. They are giving her a framed picture


of her horse. It was called Choir Boy and it won the Royal Hunt Cup at


Ascot on 17th June 1953. Rather appropriately Your Winning Choir Boy


it says in that race from 1953. These two boys are in their final


year in the Abbey Choir School. They are 13 and this is their final year


at the Abbey and the last they will be singing in before they leave. Dr


Sue Onslow, this is rather special because it is just before the


Queen's 90th birthday celebrations. There were so many symbols of the


Commonwealth woven throughout the service, the flowers from all over


the Commonwealth, picking up the colours in the Commonwealth flag.


The choice of readings to emphasise the shared values of the different


faiths within the Commonwealth. Dr Sue Onslow from the Institute of


Commonwealth Studies, thank you very much. Thank you.


BELLS PEEL So the Queen is just leaving the


Abbey, this Commonwealth Day Service has come to an end. Other members of


the Royal Family have been here with her. It is the first of the Queen's


90th birthday events. The next will be on her birthday itself, 21st


April when she will be celebrating in Windsor. And there will be a


special programme to mark that occasion here on BBC One. For now,


from Westminster Abbey, goodbye.


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