King Charles hails ‘extraordinary potential’ of Commonwealth | King Charles III

King Charles has hailed the “extraordinary potential” of the Commonwealth and spoken of the “imperative to act” on its ideals to improve the lives of its 2.6 billion people, in his first Commonwealth Day message as monarch.

Delivered from the great pulpit at Westminster Abbey, Charles recalled his mother’s “particular pride” in Commonwealth Day, and said: “The Commonwealth has been a constant in my own life, and yet its diversity continues to amaze and inspire me.”

He told the 2,000-strong congregation of senior royals, politicians and dignitaries: “It’s near boundless potential as a force for good in the world demands our highest ambition; its sheer scale challenges us to unite and be bold.”

Members of the royal family including the Prince and Princess of Wales gathered with the king inside the abbey, which in two months’ time will host the coronation.

Delivering the address in person from the abbey marked a departure from previous messages from Queen Elizabeth II, which were traditionally pre-recorded.

This year’s Commonwealth Day theme is “forging a sustainable and peaceful common future”, although it comes at a time when the royal family has enjoyed anything but a peaceful time because of turbulent relations with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The Commonwealth Day service of 2020 was the last time the couple appeared in public with the royal family before their departure from the UK.

The Sussexes have yet to confirm whether they will attend the coronation on 6 May but have received email correspondence about it from Charles’s office.

King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort meet with choristers after the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.
King Charles III and Camilla, the Queen Consort meet with choristers after the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey. Photograph: WPA/Getty Images

Charles was made head of the 56-nation Commonwealth after his mother successfully lobbied for him to take on the role.

During Monday’s service, a Commonwealth flag for peace was carried in the procession of Commonwealth members’ flags to mark 2023 as the Commonwealth year of peace. The service included musical performances from the saxophonist YolanDa Brown, the West End stars Roshani Abbey and Nuwan Hugh Perera, and the all-female Amalgamation choir from Cyprus.

In his address. Charles noted: “ This week marks the 10th anniversary of the charter of the Commonwealth, which gives expression to our defining values: peace and justice; tolerance, respect and solidarity; care for our environment and for the most vulnerable among us.

“These are not simply ideals. In each lies an imperative to act, and to make a practical difference to the 2.6 billion people who call the Commonwealth home.”

skip past newsletter promotion

He continued: “Ours is an association not just of shared values but of common purpose and joint action. In this we are blessed with the ingenuity and imagination of a third of the world’s population, including one and a half billion people under the age of 30.

“Let ours be a Commonwealth that not only stands together but strives together, in restless and practical pursuit of the global common good.”

Afterwards, Charles, Camilla, the Queen Consort and the attending members of the royal family entertained the Commonwealth secretary general, high commissioners, foreign affairs ministers and other members of the Commonwealth community at a Buckingham Palace reception.

Charles’s Commonwealth message in full

Commonwealth Day was an occasion of particular pride for my beloved mother, the late queen – a treasured opportunity to celebrate our Commonwealth family, to whose service she dedicated her long and remarkable life.

In succeeding Her Majesty as head of the Commonwealth, I draw great strength from her example, together with all that I have learned from the extraordinary people I have met throughout the Commonwealth over so many years.

The Commonwealth has been a constant in my own life, and yet its diversity continues to amaze and inspire me. Its near boundless potential as a force for good in the world demands our highest ambition; its sheer scale challenges us to unite and be bold.

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the charter of the Commonwealth, which gives expression to our defining values: peace and justice; tolerance, respect and solidarity; care for our environment and for the most vulnerable among us.

These are not simply ideals. In each lies an imperative to act, and to make a practical difference in the lives of the 2.6 billion people who call the Commonwealth home.

Whether on climate change and biodiversity loss, youth opportunity and education, global health, or economic cooperation, the Commonwealth can play an indispensable role in the most pressing issues of our time. Ours is an association not just of shared values but of common purpose and joint action.

In this we are blessed with the ingenuity and imagination of a third of the world’s population, including one and a half billion people under the age of 30. Our shared humanity contains such precious diversity of thought, culture, tradition and experience. By listening to each other, we will find so many of the solutions that we seek.

This extraordinary potential, which we hold in common, is more than equal to the challenges we face. It offers us unparalleled strength not merely to face the future, but to build it. Here, the Commonwealth has an incredible opportunity, and responsibility, to create a genuinely durable future – one that offers the kind of prosperity that is in harmony with nature and that will also secure our unique and only planet for generations to come.

The myriad connections between our nations have sustained and enriched us for more than seven decades. Our commitment to peace, progress and opportunity will sustain us for many more.

Let ours be a Commonwealth that not only stands together but strives together, in restless and practical pursuit of the global common good.

Source Link

Share This Article

Leave a Comment