Commonwealth Day – Monday, March 13, 2023 – marks the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Commonwealth Charter by our late Queen Elizabeth II – a most important document in the long history of this unique family of nations, of which the United Kingdom is one of the leading lights.
With the sad death of the monarch, the mantle of Head of the Commonwealth now passes to King Charles III, who has graciously pledged his support and determination to continue The Queen’s dedication to the Commonwealth.
The Charter she signed a decade ago sets out the values and inspirations that unite the Commonwealth’s 56 independent countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific, and the 2.5 billion people who live there. So, to celebrate this important anniversary, coordinated events will take place around the Commonwealth highlighting individual country’s commitment to the development throughout the Commonwealth of free and democratic societies, the importance of involving young people, and peace and prosperity to improve people’s lives.
To commemorate the occasion in the UK, a ‘Commonwealth of Nations’ Flag of Peace’ has been sent to every city within the United Kingdom.
The flag will be raised on the Council House at 11am on Monday, March 13, 2023, to symbolise the UK’s commitment to the shared values and principals of the Commonwealth, including co-operation in economic and social development, diversity, respect, friendship and the promotion of peace around the world.
10.30am: Council guests assemble.
10.35am: The Mayoral party, including Town Crier, Bugler/Cornet player or Trumpeter, Piper, Mayor’s Chaplain and other guests of the council; will form up in front of the Council House.
10.40am: The Town Crier will step forward, ring his bell and read out the Commonwealth Proclamation.
10.45am: The Town Crier steps back and the Bugler plays the fanfare.
10.50am: The Bugler steps back. The Mayor, holding the folded Commonwealth flag and accompanied by the Mayor’s Chaplain, will step forward. The Mayor’s Chaplain will bless the flag followed by the Mayor thanking the Mayor’s Chaplain on behalf of the city and saying a few words confirming the importance of the Commonwealth Charter and of the Commonwealth itself.
10.55 am: A ‘lone’ Piper will step forward to play a tune, after which the flag would be given to the individual responsible for hoisting the flags in the city in readiness for its raising at 11am. This will be repeated at 75 other locations around the UK, uniting the country in this celebration of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Charter by Her Majesty, The Queen.
8.pm: Bell Ringers in the Cathedral will undertake a minimum of ten whole pulls to mark each year since the Charter was signed.