Stronger together – the Commonwealth celebrates significant 75-year milestone

11 March 2024
Press release
Flagbearers at the Commonwealth Day 2023 service

Today, 56 of the world’s largest countries and smallest islands, across six oceans, continue to stand united and celebrate shared values for Commonwealth Day.

Commonwealth Day is traditionally celebrated on the second Monday in March. The theme for this year’s Commonwealth Day and the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), is ‘One Resilient Common Future: Transforming our Common Wealth’.

More than 56 nations will celebrate throughout this week, with representatives attending an event at the Commonwealth Secretariat’s headquarters in London.

This year’s staging is especially significant as the modern Commonwealth will celebrate its 75th anniversary in April this year. At a Commonwealth Prime Ministers meeting in London on 26 April 1949, the London Declaration said that republics and other independent countries could be equal members of the Commonwealth. Thus, the modern Commonwealth of Nations was born.

His Majesty King Charles III in his Commonwealth Day video message said:

"The Commonwealth family is strongest when we are connected, through friendship. As I have said before, the Commonwealth is like the wiring of a house, and its people, our energy and our ideas are the current that runs through those wires.

"Together and individually, we are strengthened by sharing perspectives and experiences, and by offering and borrowing the myriad ways we have each tackled the challenges of our time."

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, emphasised the value, power and potential of the Commonwealth family in her Commonwealth Day address.

In her Commonwealth Day Message, the Secretary-General said:

"Together, we have built a Commonwealth which is fit for the times we live in: stronger, more connected and more influential than ever; capable of rising to the world’s challenges, innovating to seize new opportunities, and working together to shape a more peaceful, resilient and prosperous common future.

"On this Commonwealth Day, as we prepare to come together again as one Commonwealth family for CHOGM in Samoa later this year, let us draw again from the wells of friendship and mutual respect, encouraging ourselves and inspiring each other to ever-more profound depths of cooperation and greater heights of achievement."

Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC
Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC

Among the activities slated for the day in London is a flag-raising ceremony at the House of Commons, which will be attended by the Deputy Secretary-General, Dr Arjoon Suddhoo.  Secretary-General Scotland will lay a wreath at the Memorial Gates to recognise the men and women from across the Commonwealth who served with the British Armed Forces during the First and Second World Wars.

The Secretary-General will also pay tribute to the late Baroness Flather, who served as Lifetime President of the Memorial Gates Council, who passed away earlier this year. The Memorial Gates event will also be the culmination of a 100KM charity walk being undertaken to bring awareness to the sacrifice of the fallen soldiers.

Later that day, members of the Royal Family, Commonwealth government officials and High Commissioners, youth leaders and other dignitaries will gather for the annual commemorative service at Westminster Abbey. Her Majesty The Queen will attend the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s reception at the Commonwealth Secretariat's headquarters and greet representatives from across the 56 nations.

Throughout the world to celebrate Commonwealth Day, civic events, educational activities and cultural gatherings will also take place.

Commonwealth nations will come together later this year in October 2024 for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Samoa. Samoa will be the first small island developing state from the Pacific to host CHOGM, which will bring a unique perspective to the table. CHOGM 2024 promises to be a landmark event, uniting Commonwealth nations in their pursuit of resilience, sustainability and a shared future.

Media contact

  • Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • +44 20 7747 6476   |   E-mail