NEWS
12/03/2018 16:12 GMT | Updated 13/03/2018 12:31 GMT

Commonwealth Service: Meghan Markle Attends First Official Event With The Queen

Former Suits star seen singing the national anthem.

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS via Getty Images
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry arrive at Westminster Abbey in London for the Commonwealth Day Service

Meghan Markle has attended her first official event with the Queen, joining senior royals on Monday at a service to mark Commonwealth Day.

Held at Westminster Abbey, the event also attended by the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and the Prime Minister, Theresa May. 

Prince Harry’s wife-to-be wore a dress and coat by Amanda Wakeley, and joined the royals in singing the national anthem at the start of the service.

Commonwealth Day is celebrated across the region and billed as an opportunity for each of the institution’s 53 member states to highlight the positive values of the family of nations. It is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the UK.

The BBC broadcast focused on the former Suits TV star singing the words “happy and glorious” during the televised event.

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Markle stops to speak to children as she leaves the service 

In her Commonwealth Day message, which is printed in the event’s order of service, the Queen praised the “Commonwealth connection” that allows people from different nations to bond and celebrate “diversity”.

She said: “Through exchanging ideas, and seeing life from other perspectives, we grow in understanding and work more collaboratively towards a common future.

“There is a very special value in the insights we gain through the Commonwealth connection; shared inheritances help us overcome difference so that diversity is a cause for celebration rather than division.

“We shall see this in action at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which takes place in the United Kingdom next month, bringing together young people, business and civil society from across the Commonwealth.

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The Queen praised the 'Commonwealth connection' that allows people from different nations to bond and celebrate 'diversity'

“These gatherings are themselves fine examples of how consensus and commitment can help to create a future that is fairer, more secure, more prosperous and sustainable.”

The theme for the service was Towards a Common Future, emphasising how the Commonwealth can address global challenges and work to create a better future for all citizens through sustainability, safety, prosperity and fairness.

Former One Direction band member, Liam Payne, performed John Mayer’s hit song Waiting On The World To Change during the service which was followed by a reception.

When the camera panned to Meghan and Harry after his rendition the couple seemed somewhat indifferent, chatting amongst themselves.

Also among the 2,000-strong congregation was the prime minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland, high commissioners, ambassadors, senior politicians from across the UK and Commonwealth, faith leaders and more than 800 schoolchildren and young people.

London will soon host a gathering of leaders from the family of nations and the Queen, who is head of the Commonwealth, also paid tribute to the biennial event as an example of how consensus can ‘help to create a future that is fairer, more secure, more prosperous and sustainable’.

With the UK leaving the European Union the importance of the Commonwealth may increase, according to some commentators.