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Support those in need, urges Queen

By Tony Jones

Published 15/03/2016

The Queen chats to some of the choristers before the service begins
The Queen chats to some of the choristers before the service begins
Assembled guests watch the royals arrive
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the Commonwealth Service
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive in Zagreb for the first day of a two-day visit to Croatia
The Duchess after being presented with some flowers
The Duchess of Cambridge has a chat in Westminster Abbey

The Queen has urged the people of the Commonwealth to "support those in need" and others who "feel excluded" in her annual message to the family of nations.

In her message to mark Commonwealth Day she said helping those less fortunate would be a way of embodying this year's Commonwealth theme of inclusivity.

The Queen's message formed part of the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey yesterday - the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the UK.

It was attended by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, David Cameron, former Prime Minister John Major, former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, while singer Ellie Goulding performed Sting's hit Fields Of Gold.

In a change to previous services the Queen's message was not broadcast to guests but was printed in the official order of service.

"Today, and in the year ahead, the theme An Inclusive Commonwealth is an inspiration for us all," she wrote.

"Let us give it practical effect by supporting those in need and those who feel excluded in all walks of life.

By doing so, we will continue to build a truly representative Commonwealth community."

Before leaving the Queen received an early 90th birthday present from the choristers of Westminster Abbey, a framed picture of Choir Boy - the Queen's first winning racehorse, which won the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot in 1953.

Meanwhile, the Prince of Wales marked the start of a six-day tour of the Balkans by practising a bit of the Croatian language.

Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived at Zagreb International Airport and shook hands with dignitaries before heading to the President's palace for a ceremonial welcome.

The prince then addressed some Croatian troops, telling them "Pozdrav VoJnici" (We salute you, soldiers).

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