The royal family were out in force on Monday to attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, with Prince Charles and Camilla, and Prince William and Kate, among the attendees. The Prince of Wales stepped in to represent the Queen, who had decided not to travel from her home in Windsor.
This was the first time Her Majesty had missed the event in almost a decade and it would have marked her debut public appearance since reaching her Platinum Jubilee milestone in February. The last time the Queen skipped the service was in 2013 while recovering from a nasty bout of gastroenteritis.
The decision of the monarch, who has just recovered from coronavirus, not to attend has been interpreted as a precautionary measure and a practical move around travel arrangements, rather than a new health issue.
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WATCH: Royals attend Commonwealth Day service without the Queen
Monday's outing was a big affair for the royal family as Commonwealth Day has not been celebrated in person since 2020.
The Queen asked her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, to attend in her place. Charles was joined by his wife Camilla, who looked lovely in purple.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were due to attend but had to miss the event due to the Duke's positive coronavirus test.
William and Kate were pictured arriving at the Abbey, with the Duchess looking suitably elegant in royal blue.
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Kate pictured arriving at the Abbey.
Kate, 40, nailed her outfit choice for the service wearing a tailored blue coat dress by Catherine Walker London and accessorising with her sapphire diamond jewellery set.
She wore her hair in a long, loose style with perfectly coiffed curls.
A close-up look at the Duchess' diamonds and natural makeup.
Camilla looked lovely in a purple wool and velvet coat dress by Fiona Clare, and a hat by Philip Treacy.
The Cambridges were reunited with Prince Charles and Camilla once inside the Abbey, greeting each other with a kiss before taking part in the procession and finding their seats.
Charles and his daughter-in-law enjoyed a sweet moment before the service.
Charles, who was representing the Queen, and Camilla were pictured inside the Abbey.
As Head of the Commonwealth, this "family of nations" of 54 countries has played an important role throughout the Queen's reign.
The theme of this year's service was 'Delivering A Common Future' – the Commonwealth's continued commitment to delivering a peaceful, prosperous and more sustainable future for all. It also celebrated Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee Year.
A highlight of the service included the Queen's Commonwealth Day message as well as an address by former archbishop Lord Sentamu, a reflection by young Tongan leader Elizabeth Kite, and special musical performances from Emeli Sande and Mica Paris.
Emeli performing during the service.
Among the 1,500 strong congregation was Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was in the welcoming line to greet the royals.
The Queen's Commonwealth Day message was released by the palace ahead of the service.
It read: "In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, it has given me pleasure to renew the promise I made in 1947, that my life will always be devoted in service.
"Today, it is rewarding to observe a modern, vibrant and connected Commonwealth that combines a wealth of history and tradition with the great social, cultural and technological advances of our time. That the Commonwealth stands ever taller is a credit to all who have been involved.
"We are nourished and sustained by our relationships and, throughout my life, I have enjoyed the privilege of hearing what the relationships built across the great reach and diversity of the Commonwealth have meant to people and communities.
"Our family of nations continues to be a point of connection, cooperation and friendship. It is a place to come together to pursue common goals and the common good, providing everyone with the opportunity to serve and benefit. In these testing times, it is my hope that you can draw strength and inspiration from what we share, as we work together towards a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future for all.
"And on this special day for our family – in a year that will include the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Commonwealth Games – I hope we can deepen our resolve to support and serve one another, and endeavour to ensure the Commonwealth remains an influential force for good in our world for many generations to come. ELIZABETH R."