Edward and Sophie step out at Commonwealth just a day after Duke of Edinburgh granted top honour

Edward and Sophie step out at Commonwealth just a day after Duke of Edinburgh granted top honour

Watch: The royals arrive at Westminster Abbey for annual Commonwealth Day service

GB News
Hannah Ross

By Hannah Ross

Published: 11/03/2024

- 14:53

Updated: 11/03/2024

- 15:41

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Commonwealth

Prince Edward and Sophie have stepped out for the Commonwealth Day Service just a day after the Duke of Edinburgh was granted a top honour by the King.

Queen Camilla led the Royal Family at the Westminster Abbey service today joined by Prince William and Princess Anne.

The Duke of Edinburgh has attended the ceremony a day after celebrating his 60th birthday when he was appointed to the Order of the Thistle by his brother Charles.

The Order of the Thistle is the highest honour in Scotland and is comprised of 16 knights or ladies and the monarch as head Sovereign of the Order.

Sophie and Prince Edward

Prince Edward and Sophie attended the Commonwealth Day service


Sophie and Prince Edward

The Duke of Edinburgh was granted a top honour by the King on his birthday


Edward’s wife, Sophie, joined the duke as they walked before the Queen into the ceremony.

King Charles missed the service today as he continues cancer treatment but released a video to mark the occasion.

The King has paused all his public-facing engagements since he was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer in February.

In his speech, King Charles said: “The Commonwealth family is strongest when we are connected, through friendship. As I have said before, the Commonwealth is like the wiring of a house, and its people, our energy and our ideas are the current that runs through those wires.

Sophie and Prince Edward

The King did not attend the Commonwealth Day service


"Together and individually, we are strengthened by sharing perspectives and experiences, and by offering and borrowing the myriad ways we have each tackled the challenges of our time.

"This is true both at the level of nations and, indeed, at the local level. We recognise today that our diversity is our greatest strength."

King Charles took over the role as head of the Commonwealth from his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

The ceremony is one of the most important events in the royal calendar and attended by senior members of the Royal Family.

Sophie and Prince Edward

Prince Edward celebrated his 60th birthday yesterday


The theme of this year’s Commonwealth is “One Resilient Common Future: Transforming our Commonwealth.”

Commonwealth Day is celebrated by people across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Americas, the Pacific and Europe.

The ceremony today is expected to be followed by a Commonwealth Day reception at Marlborough House.

The Royal Family were met outside the ceremony today by anti-monarchy protestors.


Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Camilla and Prince William

Prince Edward, Princess Anne, Camilla and Prince William attend the ceremony


In the King's speech, Charles also spoke about the importance of diverse cultures in the Commonwealth.

He explained: "The Commonwealth represents a third of humanity, from all regions of the world, with all the different experiences, knowledge, and aspirations that this brings.

"Wherever we live, we are united by the many challenges we face – whether it be climate change, the loss of nature, or the social and economic changes that new technologies are bringing.

"Our diversity means that these challenges affect us all differently and that we experience their impacts in different ways. Their seriousness, however, is common to each one of us."

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