The first details for the 2022 Commonwealth Day programme have been announced, with this year’s Commonwealth Day to be celebrated on March 14 with both an in-person service at Westminster Abbey and virtual events. As the Queen is Head of the Commonwealth, a role she takes very seriously, she will likely be a part of the upcoming plans.
In addition to the date being shared on the official Commonwealth Twitter account and website, the description adds: “Given that it is Her Majesty’s Jubilee Year, there will be a special focus on the role service plays in the lives of people and communities across the #Commonwealth.”
The theme for the event this year is “Delivering a Common Future”, the same used for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. It intends to shed a spotlight on how all of the Commonwealth nations “are ‘innovating, connecting and transforming’ to help achieve goals like fighting climate change, promoting good governance and boosting trade.”
2021’s offering was cancelled due to restrictions on crowd sizes in place at the time, but the Queen’s pre-recorded annual “A Celebration for Commonwealth Day” was aired on March 7 instead. As Her Majesty prepares to mark her Platinum Jubilee, she is already expected to be involved in a number of events to mark the occasion, but she could also make an appearance at this year’s Commonwealth Day too.
While Buckingham Palace has yet to confirm whether there will be a royal presence at the service, members of the Royal Family including Her Majesty and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have all attended the annual event in the past. In recent years, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall have played leading roles in the service and presentations.
In 2020, the Commonwealth Day service was also Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s final royal engagement before they stepped back from their position as senior working royals. While no Commonwealth tours have been announced for 2022 yet due to the pandemic, it is expected that some senior royals will undertake some form of Commonwealth visits to mark the Queen’s reign.
Previously some of the duties relating to the Commonwealth may have fallen to Meghan, 40, and Harry, 37, who were President and Vice President, respectively, of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. However, when they stepped away from royal duties, the couple were also stripped of their link to the Commonwealth, and they had to forfeit their Commonwealth Youth Ambassador titles.
The title gave them the position to “empower young people” across the 53 Commonwealth nations, a particularly poignant position seeing as the Telegraph notes that 60 percent of the populations in Commonwealth nations are under 30. According to TMZ, the Duke of Sussex became a youth ambassador shortly before his and Meghan’s 2018 wedding, while the Duchess took up the role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador shortly afterwards.