Queen hails 'cultural tapestry'
The Queen is to call for people who live in the Commonwealth to "celebrate an extraordinary cultural tapestry" of the "unique gathering of nations".
In her annual Commonwealth Day message the monarch will describe how its 54 member nations - home to nearly two billion people - have a "wealth of diversity".
In her 2012 address, themed on "connecting cultures", the Queen will describe how the Commonwealth provides a great "understanding" for cultural differences.
The Queen's pre-recorded words will form part of the annual Observance of Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey attended by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Countess of Wessex and a host of dignitaries.
She will say: "This year, our Commonwealth focus seeks to explore how we can share and strengthen the bond of Commonwealth citizenship we already enjoy by using our cultural connections to help bring us even closer together, as family and friends across the globe.
"'Connecting Cultures', our Commonwealth theme this year, encourages us to consider the special opportunities we have, as members of this unique gathering of nations, to celebrate an extraordinary cultural tapestry that reflects our many individual and collective identities.
"The Commonwealth treasures and respects this wealth of diversity."
She will add: "Our circumstances and surroundings may vary enormously, for example in the food we eat and the clothes we wear, but we share one humanity, and this draws us all together. The Commonwealth offers a pathway for this greater understanding and the opportunity to expand upon our shared experiences in a wider world."
The Queen, who is head of the Commonwealth, will also describe how technology breaks down cultural barriers. She say: "One of the great benefits of today's technology-based world is the range of opportunities it offers to understand and appreciate how others live: we can see, hear and enter into the experience of people in communities and circumstances far removed from our own."
The Queen will also introduce a new song - titled Stronger As One - which was composed to complement the theme of her speech.