The Royal Commonwealth Society has been the custodian of the High Commissioners' Banquet since it held its first 'conversazione' in 1874. This event consisted of music and exhibition of objects of colonial interest, loaned for the evening and was attended by many High Commissioners in London. It quickly became the highlight of the London social scene - by 1882, over 2,000 people attended. The event ceased in the 1960s, but with the encouragement of High Commissioners was revived in 2011, and has since been a very popular event for High Commissioners and senior Commonwealth individuals. 

Since its reinstatement the Banquet has been held at various London venues including St James's Palace and attended by Members of The Royal Family including Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. 

For the last few years the High Commissioners' Banquet has been held at Guildhall in partnership with the City of London Corporation and is an annual opportunity to bring together the Commonwealth's London-based diplomatic representatives and UK and Commonwealth thought and business leaders.

It further provides a seminal moment to raise the profile of the Commonwealth and to address the challenges facing its 54 member states and 2.4 billion people. 

Please note the High Commissioners' Banquet for 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19. In its place we were pleased to host a webinar,  'The Commonwealth: Towards Kigali 2020' to provide the annual update on the Commonwealth. 

Photo © Gerald Sharp photography. View and order photographs from the 2019 High Commissioners' Banquet. 

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