For the first time in decades, the Royal Family celebrated Commonwealth Day without Queen Elizabeth II, who died last September. In a speech during a service in London's Westminster Abbey, her son King Charles III. the "indispensable role of the institution in the most pressing issues of our time".
The union of states embodies values such as "peace and justice" and "care for our environment," said the British monarch. In front of the church where Charles and his wife Queen Camilla are to be crowned on May 6, several people protested against the monarchy. "Not my king" read the signs.
Commonwealth Day, honoring the federation headed by Charles as British monarch, is one of the most important commemorations in the royal calendar. The organization includes 56 countries, mostly former British colonies, with a total population of more than two billion.
Upon arrival, the royal couple was greeted with a haka, a traditional dance performed by the Maori, New Zealand's indigenous people. The king consort wore a sapphire blue coat with matching hat and a Queen Elizabeth brooch.