Queen Elizabeth II marks Commonwealth Day

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12:  Queen Elizabeth II (4th L) is greeted by the Very Reverend Dr John Hall (4th R), the Dean of Westminster, as she arrives at Westminster Abbey to attend tthe annual Commonwealth Day Observance Service on March 12, 2012 in London, England. The theme for this year's Observance Service, attended by representatives from the Commonwealth countries is "Connecting Cultures". Her Majesty will conduct a Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK between March 8, 2012 and July 25, 2012.   (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
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Members Of The Royal Family Attend The Commonwealth Day Of Observance At Westminster Abbey

LONDON (AP) — 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.