Prince William and Kate break silence after missing BAFTAs

The couple usually attend the film awards every year

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared an important celebratory message on Monday morning, just hours after being noticeably absent from the BAFTA awards the night before.

William and Kate wished their Twitter followers a happy Commonwealth Day as their official account tweeted, "2.5 billion citizens, 54 member countries. Wishing a very happy #CommonwealthDay to you all" alongside a host of Commonwealth country flags.

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Their tweet was met with replies from fans all over the world, including from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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WATCH: Kate curtsies to the Queen at 2020 Commonwealth Day service

William's grandmother the Queen is Head of the Commonwealth, which is made up of 54 countries. Later on Monday, the Cambridges, alongside the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, and Princess Alexandra, will attend the traditional Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, London.

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The Queen had been hoping to attend but is no longer able to travel from her home in Windsor. The decision has been interpreted as a precautionary measure and a practical move, rather than a new health issue for the 95-year-old monarch who has just recovered from coronavirus.

Charles will represent his mother at the service, whose theme this year is 'Delivering A Common Future' – the Commonwealth's continued commitment to delivering a peaceful, prosperous and more sustainable future for all. It will also celebrate Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee Year.

Highlights will include 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.

William and Kate at the 2020 Commonwealth Day service

This will be the first time Her Majesty has 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 she skipped the service was in 2013, while recovering from a nasty bout of gastroenteritis.

Prince William and Kate were also noticeably absent from the BAFTA awards on Sunday evening. The couple usually attend the glitzy ceremony but were unable to this year due to "diary constraints". As President of BAFTA, William delivered a virtual address on the night.

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