In pictures: Royal Family attend Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey
- Credit: PA
Members of the Royal Family including the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey this afternoon.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry took centre stage as they joined three generations of the Royal Family at the Commonwealth Day service to celebrate the Queen's commitment to the union in the year of her 90th birthday.
The Queen's annual Commonwealth Day message formed part of the event's programme at Westminster Abbey and in it she wrote: 'Today, and in the year ahead, the theme An Inclusive Commonwealth is an inspiration for us all.
'Let us give it practical effect by supporting those in need and those who feel excluded in all walks of life. By doing so, we will continue to build a truly representative Commonwealth community.'
The Queen also said working together for the common good was an essential ingredient of belonging to the family of nations.
The monarch wrote: 'Each of us has cause to celebrate the sense of belonging expressed in our 2016 theme: An Inclusive Commonwealth.
'Our recognition of this value, and the wisdom of mutual respect for each other, is set out in the Commonwealth Charter. Its opening words, 'We the people of the Commonwealth' convey the conviction that individuals, as well as governments, build and shape our success.
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'Being inclusive and accepting diversity goes far deeper than accepting differences at face value and being tolerant.
'True celebration of the dignity of each person, and the value of their uniqueness and contribution, involves reaching out, recognising and embracing their individual identity.'
The Westminster Abbey service was the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the UK. Highlights of the event included the principal reflection given by Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the United Nations, and a musical performance by Ellie Goulding.
Guests of honour among the 2,000 strong congregation included Mr Sharma, the prime minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, alongside High Commissioners, Commonwealth dignitaries, religious Leaders and more than 1,000 school children.
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