Kate and William get an A-list welcome at star-studded Commonwealth Day Service

The Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince William and Kate Middleton were all smiles as they attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.

The service is the first with King Charles as monarch, and it will see him delivering a message marking the occasion from the Great Pulpit in Westminster Abbey, where he will be officially crowned King in just two months' time.

Kate, 40, was typically stunning in a navy skirt and a matching peplum top, along with a wide-brimmed hat, which appeared to be a nod to the iconic white and navy polka dot outfit worn by her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana at the royal box at Ascot in 1988.

Heir to the throne William, also 40, looked dapper as he wore a navy suit to match his wife's outfit.

The service was also attended by a number of A-listers, including former Spice Girl Geri Horner, singer Alexandra Burke and This Morning's Gyles Brandreth, who is a former politician.

The Commonwealth Day theme for 2023 is Forging a Sustainable and Peaceful Common Future, and it comes at a time when Charles has experienced great turbulence in his relationship with his youngest son, the Duke of Sussex.

The Queen Consort, Camilla, the Prince and Princess of Wales, the new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence all attended the Commonwealth Day service.

Afterwards, Charles, Camilla and the attending members of the royal family will entertain the Commonwealth secretary-general, high commissioners, foreign affairs ministers and other members of the Commonwealth community at a Buckingham Palace reception.

The annual service was the scene of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ’s final official public engagement as senior working royals in 2020, when palpable tension could be seen between them and the rest of the senior royals.

The couple, who stepped down for a new life in the US, have yet to confirm whether they will attend the King’s coronation, but their spokesperson confirmed that they have received email correspondence about it from Charles’ office.

Harry’s controversial autobiography Spare, published at the start of the year, included claims that William physically attacked him and that Charles did not hug him when he told him of Diana, Princess of Wales’s death.

Charles is now head of the Commonwealth, following in the late Queen’s footsteps after she successfully lobbied for him to take on the role.

A Commonwealth flag for peace will be carried in the procession of Commonwealth members’ flags to mark 2023 as Commonwealth Year of Peace.

The service will include musical performances from saxophonist Yolanda Brown, West End stars Roshani Abbey and Nuwan Hugh Perera, and the all-female Amalgamation Choir, from Cyprus.

Guests of honour among the 2,000-strong congregation will include the Commonwealth secretary-general, the prime minister of Samoa, high commissioners, senior politicians and dignitaries from across the UK and the Commonwealth.

Also attending will be athletes from the home nations who competed at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last summer, as well as faith leaders, and more than 750 schoolchildren and young people from throughout the UK.

The service will be broadcast live on BBC One.


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