A COMMONWEALTH charter, which sets out a commitment to equal
rights, was signed by the Queen at a reception at the Mansion House
in London on Commonwealth Day, Monday.
The charter, which was adopted by all 54 member states in
December, includes commitments to democracy, human rights, and
freedom of expression. It says that member states are "implacably
opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender,
race, colour, creed, political belief, or other grounds".
Addressing the High Commissioners and dignitaries before signing
the charter, the Queen said: "The charter I will sign today, on
behalf of you all, represents a significant milestone as the
Commonwealth continues its journey of development and renewal. We
now have, for the first time, a single document that captures the
core values and aspirations of the Commonwealth and all its
Earlier on Monday, the Queen had pulled out of the Commonwealth
Day Observance at Westminster Abbey, because she was recovering
from a bout of gastroenteritis, which had led to her spell in
hospital last week. The Observance was attended by the Duke of
In the bidding, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Revd John
Hall, said: "In this 60th anniversary year, we recall in particular
Her Majesty The Queen's Coronation in this Abbey Church on 2 June
1953. We give thanks for more than 60 years of Her Majesty's
faithful service to this Nation, the Realms and the whole
Commonwealth under God."