News and publications News & Blog The Commonwealth Service 2020 Participants Announced Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Commonwealth Service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom and provides an opportunity to focus attention on this voluntary association of 54 countries and their commitment to promoting democracy, human rights, the rule of law and equality for its 2.4 billion citizens. Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, accompanied by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Earl and Countess of Wessex will attend the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on Commonwealth Day – Monday 9th March 2020. The Commonwealth Service will be broadcast live on BBC One from 14:15-16.00 GMT. It will be relayed live on the BBC World Service and streamed live on the BBC YouTube channel. Highlights of the Service will include special performances by the Brit nominee and acclaimed star of the West-End stage, Alexandra Burke; and multi-platinum, multi-award winning artist, Craig David; with a reflection by professional boxer, two-time unified heavyweight champion and British and Commonwealth heavyweight title holder, Anthony Joshua OBE. The event will also feature performances by the Griffin Schools’ Commonwealth Choir, with children whose cultural backgrounds represent different regions of the Commonwealth, accompanied by a brass quintet of young musicians from the Purcell School; The One Drum Foundation, a charity that aims to inform the public about the arts, history and culture of African music; performance poet, Suli Breaks, who seeks to inspire achievement, in spite of personal circumstance; and the Melodians Steel Orchestra, which provides opportunities for young people from diverse social and racial backgrounds to develop musical skills. Guests of honour among the 2,000 strong congregation will include the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, senior representatives of Her Majesty’s Government and Opposition, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, High Commissioners, Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives, dignitaries from across the UK and Commonwealth, faith leaders and over 800 school children and young people. Find out more about our performers and speakers below: The Royal Edinburgh Military TattooThe Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a world-class event, rooted in Scottish tradition. Performed to a live audience of 220,000 each year on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, the Tattoo features music, precision performances, and dance from military and cultural acts from around the globe. Committed to celebrating and promoting traditional Scottish art forms, the Tattoo is presenting performers from Pipers Trail, Hjaltibonhoga, and Tattoo Dance Company. Representing Scottish traditions in piping and drumming, fiddle playing, and highland dance, the performers are enduringly popular elements of any Tattoo performance. The Griffin Schools Commonwealth Choir and the Purcell School’s Brass QuintetThe Griffin Schools Commonwealth Choir includes children from Riverley Primary and Willowbrook Primary. Both of these schools are members of the Griffin Schools Trust where music and the arts are at the heart of the curriculum. The children’s cultural backgrounds represent different regions of the Commonwealth. The accompanying brass quintet consists of young musicians from The Purcell School, the oldest specialist music school in the Commonwealth. They were all identified by The Commonwealth Resounds, which supports collaborative partnerships and performances with a special focus upon young people and the developing world. One-DrumThe One-Drum Foundation is a UK-registered charity made up of a collective of London-based African master drummers, dancers, musicians, and performers emanating from the diversity of Africa’s rich ethnic traditions. Its charitable purpose is to advance the education of the public in the arts, history, and culture of African music, in particular, but not exclusively, through the provision of educational workshops and performances. One-Drum Foundation’s authentic African drumming and dance is the beat of the heart, the pulse of the blood, and the rhythm of life. Alexandra BurkeSince 2008, Brit Nominee Alexandra Burke’s career has gone from strength to strength within the music industry with her debut single, Hallelujah, holding a European record for the most single sales within just 24 hours, selling over 105,000 copies in one day. Alexandra has since developed a strong career in musical theatre, becoming one of the most sought-after leading ladies of the West End. Until April 2021 Alexandra will be on tour with a brand-new adaption of My Best Friend’s Wedding. As an Ambassador for Breast Cancer Care, Diabetes UK, Wellchild, The Princes Trust, The Melissa Bell Foundation, and Notting Hill Carnival, Alexandra will always find some time for charity amongst her work commitments. In 2018 Alexandra set up The Fall Ball Foundation. Anthony Joshua OBEAnthony Joshua is the two-time unified heavyweight champion of the world, holding the WBA, WBO, IBF, and IBO titles. Anthony is also an Olympic Gold Medalist, having won the Super Heavyweight category at London 2012. Born in Watford, Anthony has a strong Nigerian heritage with his parents Yeta and Jonathan moving to the UK from Nigeria in the 1980s. Anthony has become one of the greatest sportsmen the UK has produced, selling out stadiums and fighting all over the world. Suli BreaksSuli is a London-based performance poet. The artform embraced him while he was pursuing his university law degree. He connected more to the street-level aesthetic of spoken words than he did to the requisites of an academic setting. Suli gained wider appeal via the Why I Hate School but Love Education that went viral, garnering 2 million views within a three-day span. Suli would love it if he has managed to inspire a generation of kids to aspire towards greater heights, despite personal circumstance. For now, he’s busy imagining, sketching, and realizing his dream to revolutionize poetry, and to create a universally recognizable brand in the process. Craig DavidCraig has supported numerous charities throughout his monumental career including Caudwell Children, Rays of Sunshine, and Comic Relief. He is very honoured to be part of today’s celebration of the Commonwealth. Having sold over 15 million albums, achieved 16 Top Ten hits, multi-platinum status in more than 20 countries, taking over festival stages around the world, and selling out headline tours in seconds, critically acclaimedmulti-award winning artist, Craig David has also achieved two UK Number 1 albums, multiple BRIT Award and Grammy nominations, 4 MOBO Awards, as well as becoming a 3-time Ivor Novello Award winner. The Melodians Steel OrchestraThe Melodians Steel Orchestra are a South London based steel orchestra. Since its formation in October 1987 by Terry Noel, the award-winning Melodians Steel Orchestra has provided opportunities for young people from varied social and racial backgrounds to develop musical skills, techniques, and a wide repertoire including classical, modern, calypso, pop, and jazz compositions. Terry Noel was awarded an MBE in 2015 for his contribution to music. The Melodians has travelled to 33 countries around the world as well as many performances throughout the UK. The Right Honourable Patricia Scotland QCPatricia Scotland took office as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth in April 2016. She serves the 54 governments and 2.4 billion citizens of the Commonwealth. Born in Dominica, she moved to the UK at an early age. A lawyer, she became both the youngest and first black woman to be appointed Queen’s Counsel. She is the only woman since the post was created in 1315 to be Attorney General for England and Wales. The Choir of Westminster AbbeyThe Abbey’s world-famous choir of boys and men plays a central role both in the daily choral services in the Abbey and in the many royal, state, and national occasions which take place here. In addition, the choir’s schedule includes a wide range of high profilerecordings, broadcasts, concerts, and overseas tours. All the choristers are educated at the Abbey’s unique Choir School. Auditions take place throughout the year, and enquiries are welcome at any time. Read The Queen's Commonwealth Day Message Read the Commonwealth Secretary-General's Commonwealth Day Message Find out more about the Commonwealth theme.