Commonwealth flag flies over St Peter's Hill

South Kesteven District Council is marking Commonwealth Day today (Monday 13 March) by flying the Commonwealth flag over St Peter's Hill in Grantham.

Commonwealth Day is an annual celebration observed by people all over the Commonwealth in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific and Europe.

Today, the Commonwealth stands as a voluntary association of 56 independent sovereign states, spread across five continents and six oceans.

Chairman of the Council, Cllr Helen Crawford said: "This year marks the first Commonwealth Day since Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's passing and the first presided over by His Majesty King Charles III.

"South Kesteven District Council is proud to be flying the Commonwealth flag to mark the occasion where we will come together to celebrate the friendship, spirit of unity and achievements of the Commonwealth Family.

"Together we can take pride in the Commonwealth's shared values of peace, democracy, equality and diversity."

This year's theme is 'Forging a sustainable and peaceful common future'. It combines the active commitment of member states to support the promotion of peace, prosperity and sustainability. Particularly through climate action, the Commonwealth are committed to securing a better future for young people and improving the lives of all Commonwealth citizens.

Commonwealth Day 2023 is also ten years since the signing of the Commonwealth Charter. Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II signed the charter on 11 March 2013. It documents the values and aspirations which unite the Commonwealth.

In her annual message, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, Commonwealth Secretary-General said: "Her Majesty was a remarkable person, who lived a remarkable life. Through her seven decades of service as Head of the Commonwealth, in a rapidly changing world, she was the epitome of duty, stability, wisdom and grace.

"In our sadness at her passing, our admiration for all that she was, and our enduring gratitude for all that she gave us, we can all take heart from the fact that her vision for the Commonwealth, as an equal partnership of nations and races, has come to fruition.

"As we look to the challenges and opportunities of the world today, and seek to shape our common future, we warmly welcome His Majesty King Charles III for his first Commonwealth Day as the new Head of the Commonwealth.

"His Majesty has said many times that our Family of Nations has been a cornerstone of his life, and as we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Commonwealth Charter, we share his conviction - and that of all Commonwealth leaders - that the values and aspirations it enshrines must not simply represent words on a page, but the lived experience of all."