The Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex joined the Queen, senior members of the royal family and leading figures from national life at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey today.
It is the second joint engagement for Kate, 37, and Meghan, also 37, in a week, as both were last seen together at a reception in the White Drawing room at Buckingham Palace thrown by the Queen to mark the 50th anniversary of her son Charles’ investiture as Prince of Wales last Tuesday.
The Duchess of Cambridge and Harry were amongst the first to arrive for the special service. Donning a Victoria Beckham dress, Meghan completed her outfit with a chic hat, complimentary green suede heels and her husband Prince Harry on her arm.
The Commonwealth represents 53 countries and almost 2.4 billion people and 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth, enabling cooperation towards social, political and economic development.
In her message to mark Commonwealth Day, the head of state has praised how the family of nations inspires its member states to find ways of protecting the planet and its citizens.
Meghan, 37 and Prince Harry, 34, were amongst the first to arrive. They joined other members of The Royal Family at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey today
Meghan, who is expecting her first baby in late April, donned a cream Victoria Beckham outfit and her dress featured an array of locked chains
Lady in red! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived shortly after Meghan and Harry. Kate opted for a bold red jacket which fell beneath her knees and buttoned right down to her waist – keeping her warm in the chilly weather conditions
Kate opted for her classic go-to suede stiletto heels and managed to keep her hat firmly on her head – unlike Teresa May who was almost blown away in a gust of wind
The Queen opted for a bold purple ensemble as she donned a matching hat and coat which she completed with a silver jeweled broach (above)
Millions of people are ‘drawn together’ because of the collective values shared by the institution, the Queen says in her address to the countries of the Commonwealth.
The written message is featured in the order of service for the annual Commonwealth Day service being held at Westminster Abbey.
The Queen, who has been the Head of the Commonwealth, throughout her reign, says in her message: ‘In April last year, I welcomed the leaders of our 53 nations to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and we all witnessed how the Commonwealth vision offers hope, and inspires us to find ways of protecting our planet, and our people.
‘We are able to look to the future with greater confidence and optimism as a result of the links that we share, and thanks to the networks of co-operation and mutual support to which we contribute, and on which we draw.
Taking Meghan’s hand, Prince Harry helped the mother-to-be along the cobbles as they made her way inside Westminster Abbey
The pair were all smiles as they joined senior members of the royal family and leading figures from national life at the Commonwealth Day service today
‘With enduring commitment through times of great change, successive generations have demonstrated that whilst the goodwill for which the Commonwealth is renowned may be intangible, its impact is very real.’
The Queen will be joined at the Commonwealth Day service by Prince Harry, Prince William, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of York and the Prince of Wales.
Other guests among the 2,000-strong congregation will include the Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland, alongside high commissioners, ambassadors, faith leaders and more than 800 schoolchildren and young people, and Prime Minister Theresa May.
She made a bold statement in a blue patterned coat and coordinated hat and heels, as she tackled the cobbles during her arrival – and finished the look with a gold cuff and colourful pebble necklace.
Commonwealth Day has a special significance this year, as 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth – a global network of 53 countries and almost 2.4 billion people.
The theme for this year’s service is ‘A Connected Commonwealth’ which highlights the co-operation between the culturally diverse family of nations who work together in friendship.
The beautiful bright flowers which adorned the Abbey represent the 53 Commonwealth nations, while female British Mauritian dancers based in London who enjoy performing Sega, a joyful and lively expression of the Mauritian way of life, performed outside the Abbey before the royal arrivals.
Highlights of the service include performances by Grammy-winning group Clean Bandit and tenor Alfie Boe.
Prime Minister Theresa May opted for a bold blue look as she arrived today. She donned a blue patterned coat and coordinated with her hat and heels – and finished the look with a gold cuff and colourful pebble necklace
A reflection will be given by Lewis Pugh, an endurance swimmer, ocean advocate and the UN Patron of the Oceans.
The engagement comes after a busy morning for Meghan and Harry, who, in their new roles at the forefront of the ‘family of nations,’ visited Canada House in London at an event to showcase and celebrate the diverse community of young Canadians in the UK earlier today.
Meghan, who is eight months pregnant, paid tribute to Canadian design in a Erdem coat and matching dress, teamed with £485 Aquazzura pumps, as she arrived at Trafalgar Square with Prince Harry this morning.
The bottle green wool number, featuring black beaded detail on the cuffs and collar, is a custom piece inspired by a look from Montréal-born Erdem Moralioglu’s Autumn/ Winter 2019 collection.
Protective father-to-be Harry guided his pregnant wife out of the car and onto the curb, before Meghan put an affectionate arm on his back as the couple made their way into the building.
The duke and duchess, who are expecting their first child next month, took part in the Canadian spring tradition of making maple taffy (maple syrup cooled on snow to make sweets) as part of a traditional cabane à sucre (sugar shack).
Before departing, they were given gifts for Baby Sussex; a £14.29 Canadian maple leaf baby bodysuit from Hop & Moo and a pair of £42.86 Manitobah Mukluks infant moccasins.
Later in the evening, Charles and Camilla will be guests of the Commonwealth Secretary-General at the annual reception which traditionally takes place on Commonwealth Day at Marlborough House, the home of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the institution’s civil service.
Former Prime Minister John Major attended the Commonwealth Service on Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey on Monday
US Ambassador Robert Wood Johnson (above) was engaged in conversation as he made his way into Westminster Abbey for the service
Britain’s Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom joined the Queen as he arrived for the special service – which is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the UK
Lady in red! Grace Chatto (left), the cellist for Clean Bandit, was joined by other band members Jack and Luke Patterson. They will perform during the service later today – along with the likes of the talented Alfie Boe
Jeremy Hunt dressed for the chilly weather conditions as he dons a smart black coat for his arrival at what will be the 70th anniversary of the modern Commonwealth – a global network of 53 countries and almost 2.4 billion people
Aga Khan cracks a smile as he joins the many guests at the service – which will praise how the family of nations inspires its member states to find ways of protecting the planet and its citizens
Baroness Floella Benjamin tackles the cobbles in her high heels as she heads inside to join an array of guests at the Commonwealth Day service