Her Majesty The Queen, as Head of the Commonweath, has sent the following message ahead of Commonwealth Day on Monday 12th March.
"We all have reason to give thanks for the numerous ways in which our lives are enriched when we learn from others.
“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.
“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.
“Having enjoyed the warm hospitality of so many Commonwealth countries over the years, I look forward to the pleasure of welcoming the leaders of our family of 53 nations to my homes in London and Windsor.
“Sport also contributes to building peace and development. The excitement and positive potential of friendly rivalry will be on display next month as we enjoy the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia.
“Contributing to the success of the Games, alongside athletes and officials, will be thousands of volunteers.
“Voluntary effort, by people working as individuals, in groups or through larger
associations, is so often what shapes the Commonwealth and all our communities.
“By pledging to serve the common good in new ways, we can ensure that the Commonwealth continues to grow in scope and stature, to have an even greater impact on people's lives, today, and for future generations.”