A Commonwealth party at the Abbey

Amber, Hana, Amaani, Fatima of Ponteland Middle School Amber, Hana, Amaani and Fatima soak up the Abbey atmosphere with some very important guests

Four young School Reporters from Northumberland, more than 1,000 pupils and one very special person were on an exclusive guest list at Westminster Abbey on 12 March to celebrate Commonwealth Day.

ABOUT THE STORY

  • The Commonwealth was first set up in 1949 with eight countries. By 2011, it had 54 members covering a population of two billion
  • Commonwealth theme in 2012 is 'Connecting Cultures' marking the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
  • The 54 countries celebrate the links they share as members of "one diverse and dynamic global family"
  • Other Royals present: Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex
  • Other VIPS present: Canadian singer Rufus Wainwright, South African musician Hugh Masekela and primatologist Jane Goodall

Hana, 11 It was an amazing day and the service was brilliant. Seeing the flag bearers flow through Wesminster Abbey was just brilliant.

The Queen at Westminster Abbey The Queen steals the Commonwealth show in stylish pink at the Abbey

I really enjoyed watching the Queen coming in. I have only ever seen her in newspapers and on TV and it was just incredible seeing her in person.

Seeing all the flag bearers and interviewing Lord Howell (Minister for the Commonwealth) meant a lot. It made me realise how important the Commonwealth is to us.

Things like freedom and peace with other countries and how different cultures and religions are and how it's so nice being brought together and respecting other cultures.

Fatima, 12 The whole day was a lot of fun. I learnt so much about the Commonwealth. South African musician Hugh Masekela was my favourite bit.

The service was very interesting and quite formal and he made it really fun and got us all involved. I was just upset the day ended so quickly.

Amaani, 11 I had an amazing and fantastic day. We saw 54 people holding their flags and we interviewed lots of interesting people. My favourite was the Sri Lanka flag bearer.

The lady had some great answers. I learnt a lot about the Commonwealth and about all the other countries. The Queen looked amazing and really nice and kind.

I think she's a good leader and it made me think I'd like to be Queen one day!

Amber, 11 What a day! It was so much fun. The Queen looked so nice and friendly.

The singer Rufus Wainwright was amazing and he sung Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'. I really liked the song and it made me tearful and emotional.

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