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Queen Elizabeth II joins senior royals in celebrating Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey

03.12.12
Hugh Masekela
The Washington Post

By Associated Press

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II, her husband and other senior royals have attended a lively ceremony in London marking Commonwealth Day.

The queen, who heads the Commonwealth, and Prince Phillip were joined by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at the packed event in Westminster Abbey.

More than 1,000 school children were also on hand for the ceremony, which featured performances from Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela and primatologist Jane Goodall, who gave the greeting call of the wild chimpanzee.

Commonwealth Day is celebrated annually on the second Monday in March. The Commonwealth theme this year is Connecting Cultures.

The Commonwealth was first set up in 1949 with eight member countries. By last year, it had 54 members.