Armed forces personnel took part in events to mark Commonwealth Day with a commemoration at the Memorial Gates and a service at Westminster Abbey.
The Band of the Coldstream Guards and a Piper from 1st Battalion Scots Guards provided music for the service at the Commonwealth Memorial Gates service, while the State Trumpeters of The Band of the Household Cavalry and Fanfare Trumpeters from the Band of the Welsh Guards performed at The Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey.
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin laid a wreath on behalf of the Ministry of Defence at the Commonwealth Memorial Gates. Senior Armed Forces officers from commonwealth nations attended the service.
On Horse Guards Parade, the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra and Choir performed alongside The Band of the Scots Guards.
The theme of Commonwealth Day 2022 is ‘Delivering A Common Future’, celebrating the commonwealth countries’ united efforts to achieve common goals, including protecting natural resources, boosting trade, and delivering a peaceful, prosperous, and more sustainable future.
The UK armed forces have made notable high-profile contributions to these efforts throughout recent months:
- Australia: The UK, Australia and the US announced a landmark defence and security partnership to protect and defend our shared interests in the Indo-Pacific.
- Tonga: Royal Navy ship HMS Spey delivered vital humanitarian aid to Tonga, in addition to UK-funded supplies onboard the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Adelaide following the catastrophic tsunami that hit the islands.
- Kenya: The UK Armed Forces took part in a joint exercise with the Kenyan Defence Forces where troops rehearsed warfare in a demanding terrain.
- Zambia: British Army personnel deployed last summer to train local rangers to prevent the poaching of precious wildlife.
- Cyprus: The UK supports UN operations on the island and provides search and rescue support to local emergency services.
- Nigeria: The UK and Nigeria have signed a deal to work even more closely on defence and security, with the UK providing training to the Nigerian Armed Forces.
- Barbados: Royal Navy ship RAF Wave Knight and a Wildcat helicopter joined HMS Medway in Barbados to share aid for those affected by the volcanic eruption in St Vincent.
- Jamaica: British-Jamaican RAF gunner Lance Corporal Shanwayne Stephens competed for Team Jamaica at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Given that 2022 is Her Majesty’s Jubilee year, there was also a special focus on the role that service plays in the lives of people and communities across the commonwealth.