Queen Elizabeth presides over Commonwealth for 'all walks of life'

Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:21am EDT
 
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LONDON - Britain's Queen Elizabeth has called on people in the Commonwealth to support "those in need and those who feel excluded in all walks of life" as its members marked this year's Commonwealth Day.

    The queen, her husband Prince Philip, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended a service at London's Westminster Abbey on Monday, where they were joined by dignitaries from the Commonwealth's 53 member states.

    The theme for this year is "An Inclusive Commonwealth".

    "Being inclusive and accepting diversity goes far deeper than accepting differences at face value and being tolerant," the queen wrote in her Commonwealth Day message, published in the ceremony's order of service.

    "True celebration of the dignity of each person, and the value of their uniqueness and contribution, involves reaching out, recognizing and embracing their individual identity."

    Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan spoke at the service while singer Ellie Goulding performed.