In Pictures: Royals celebrate Commonwealth Day

Published
Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Monday marked Commonwealth Day and what better way to celebrate than kicking off the countdown to the Commonwealth Games in 2018? The games' mascot Borobi came to Buckingham Palace to make sure the festivities got under way.
Image source, PA
Image caption,
If you are going to carry out a relay race, you need two things - a baton and some athletes. Australian Paralympian Kurt Fearnley began proceedings by bringing the baton to Buckingham Palace. His fellow countrywoman Anna Meares took the next stage, followed by her professional rival, British medallist Victoria Pendleton.
Image source, PA
Image caption,
The Queen was presented with the baton before putting a message of peace and goodwill inside to send it on its way to the Gold Coast. It will travel for 388 days through 71 countries and more than 200,000 miles before the sporting event kicks off in April 2018.
Image source, PA
Image caption,
After the baton had begun its journey, the Commonwealth Day parties began as streets in central London were filled with dancers and musicians celebrating cultures from across the member countries.
Image source, PA
Image caption,
The crowds then began to gather at Westminster Abbey ahead of a multi-faith service to mark Commonwealth Day. Amongst the dignitaries, were a number of famous faces, including singer Annie Lennox.
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Former Spice Girl Geri Horner also attended the service with her daughter Bluebell. Children from across the Commonwealth were invited to the event, carrying flags from their home countries.
Image source, AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
Despite a busy day of Brexit-based business, Prime Minister Theresa May still found time to go to the abbey for the annual celebration.
Image source, AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
Then the Royal Family began to arrive. Prince Harry was representing the younger generation and shook many hands on his way into the abbey.
Image source, AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall also dressed to impress for the important date on the calendar.
Image source, PA
Image caption,
After a brief costume change to reflect the lovely weather, the Queen and Prince Philip arrived so the celebratory service could commence.
Image source, AFP/Getty Images
Image caption,
Jessica Ennis-Hill was next in line to carry the baton as she brought it into the abbey for all to see.
Image source, PA
Image caption,
Speakers and performers from all corners of the Commonwealth gathered in the church and filled its vast space with song to mark the special day.
Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Before she headed to the reception to top off the celebrations, the Queen had time to meet and receive flowers from a schoolgirl eager to do the job.