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Princess Kate and Duchess Sophie join Charles for first Commonwealth Day service as King - best photos

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla led the senior royals at the Westminster Abbey service

royals commonwealth day
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
Updated: 13 March 2023
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The Prince and Princess of Wales were joined by the new Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh as King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla attended their first Commonwealth Day service of their reign.

In a speech, the King paid tribute to his "beloved mother", describing how Commonwealth Day was a moment of pride for the late Queen Elizabeth who "dedicated her long and remarkable life" in service to the "Commonwealth family".

WATCH: Royals sing God Save The King on Commonwealth Day

The King conferred the Dukedom of Edinburgh on Prince Edward on his 59th birthday on Friday, and Edward and Sophie also made their public debut with their new titles, as they thanked the Scottish people for their genorosity to Ukrainian refugees.

Meanwhile, the couple's son, James, Viscount Severn is now the Earl of Wessex

LATEST: Sophie Wessex: Confusion over 'curtsy' to Meghan Markle following new title

Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, Commonwealth Day© Photo: Getty Images

Duchess Sophie looked elegant in a white coat by Proenza Schouler as she and Edward arrived at the Westminster Abbey service.

Duchess of Edinburgh earrings© Photo: Getty Images

Sophie accessorised with a Jane Taylor hat and the earrings she wore on her wedding day to Edward in 1999.

And did you catch Sophie's sweet exchange with brother-in-law Charles as they greeted one another inside the Abbey?

RELATED: Princess Kate enchants in pretty peplum look for big royal reunion

William and Kate at Commonwealth Day service© Photo: Getty Images

Kate looked elegant in a navy and white floral printed peplum-style two-piece from Erdem. She accessorised with a wide-brim hat and Princess Diana's diamond and sapphire earrings. 

Princess of Wales on Commonwealth Day© Photo: Getty Images

The windy conditions meant the royal ladies had to hold onto their hats. 

Kate also sported a Feathers brooch, given to her by the King, to reflect her new title as the Princess of Wales. 

Queen Consort Camilla© Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, the Queen Consort wore a sapphire blue wool crepe dress and coat by Fiona Clare. She accessorised with a beret by Philip Treacy and the late Queen's sapphire and diamond brooch. 

Princess Anne, Commonwealth Day© Photo: Getty Images

The Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence also joined the other senior royals in the procession.

Charles is now head of the Commonwealth, following in the late Queen's footsteps after she successfully lobbied for him to take on the role.

The King delivered his address in person from the Abbey's great pulpit in a move that was a departure from previous messages from the Queen, who sometimes pre-recorded her speech.

King Charles gives speech at Commonwealth Day service© Photo: Getty Images

A Commonwealth flag for peace was carried in the procession of Commonwealth members' flags to mark 2023 as Commonwealth Year of Peace.

The service included musical performances from saxophonist Yolanda Brown, West End stars Roshani Abbey and Nuwan Hugh Perera, and the all-female Amalgamation Choir, from Cyprus.

Guests of honour among the 2,000-strong congregation included the Commonwealth secretary-general, the prime minister of Samoa, high commissioners, senior politicians and dignitaries from across the UK and the Commonwealth.

Royals on Commonwealth Day 2023© Photo: Getty Images

Also in attendance were athletes from the home nations who competed at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last summer, as well as faith leaders, and more than 750 schoolchildren and young people from throughout the UK.

Afterwards, Charles, Camilla and the attending members of the royal family will entertain the Commonwealth secretary-general, high commissioners, foreign affairs ministers and other members of the Commonwealth community at a Buckingham Palace reception.

LISTEN: What Prince William and Kate are really like behind the scenes

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