Commonwealth Day DVD and Observance Guide


Short documentary of the annual Commonwealth Day celebrations

Format: DVD

Produced by Nexus Strategic Partnerships in conjunction with the Royal Commonwealth Society.


The Commonwealth Day DVD showcases the key highlights of the annual Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminister Abbey in London.

Every year, on the second Monday in March, people all around the Commonwealth get together to celebrate the special partnership of nations, peoples and ideals which makes the Commonwealth unique.

On Commonwealth Day, the Head of the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth II, delivers her Commonwealth Day message and leads a multi-faith observance at Westminster Abbey in London. This is attended by representatives of Commonwealth countries and children offer the flags of member nations for blessing. Flags also fly in Parliament Square and at Marlborough House in London, where the Commonwealth Secretariat is housed.

The Queen’s message is broadcast throughout the Commonwealth, and in many countries augmented by a message from the president or prime minister, or another senior minister. The Commonwealth Secretary-General also issues a statement, which is read on radio or published in many countries.

The multi-faith observance held at Westminster Abbey, too, is replicated in the cathedrals, temples, mosques and churches of other member countries. As with the London ceremony, these include readings from the sacred texts of the Commonwealth’s major religions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and others.

The Commonwealth Day message is addressed to the people of the Commonwealth, not to governments, and each year The Queen takes as her theme an issue of importance to the Commonwealth on which she thinks the people can have an impact. Over the years, she has dealt with the sense of the Commonwealth as a family, human rights, the position of young people and of women, and working together for the eradication of poverty. Messages have thus covered a very wide range of important subjects over the years and the themes of recent messages have been as follows:

  • 1994 The Commonwealth Games
  • 1995 Tolerance
  • 1996 Working in Partnership
  • 1997 Communications
  • 1998 Sport
  • 1999 Music
  • 2000 The Communications Challenge
  • 2001 A New Generation
  • 2002 Celebrating Diversity
  • 2003 Partners in Development
  • 2004 Building a Commonwealth of Freedom
  • 2005 Education – Creating Opportunity, Realising Potential
  • 2006 Health and Vitality
  • 2007 Respecting Difference, Promoting Understanding
  • 2008 The Environment – Our Future
  • 2009 thecommonwealth@60 – serving a new generation
  • 2010 Science, Technology and Society
  • 2011 Women as Agents of Change
  • 2012 Connecting Cultures
  • 2013 Opportunity through Enterprise.