The Queen has sent a congratulatory message to the President of Sri Lanka as the country celebrates 70 years of independence.
Although Her Majesty couldn’t attend the celebrations in person, her son, the Earl of Wessex has visited the country alongside the Countess of Wessex.
In a message to President Maithripala SirisenaIt, The Queen said: “It gives me great pleasure to send to Your Excellency my congratulations on the occasion of the celebration by Sri Lanka of the seventieth anniversary of Independence.
“The relationship between our two countries has continued to grow over the years, and it is my hope that the connections between our people continue to flourish in the years to come.
“Although I am unable to be with you as you mark this historic moment, I am very pleased that The Earl and Countess of Wessex are able to represent me and to join you in celebrating all that the people of Sri Lanka have achieved in the past 70 years.
“I send my best wishes to the people of Sri Lanka on this occasion.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex have conducted numerous engagements in the country on behalf of the 91-year old Monarch.
This includes a visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and a trip to the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Sri Lanka gained independence from British rule on February 4, 1948.
Every year, Sri Lankans celebrate the occasion with a national holiday and the President delivers a televised speech.
Although independent, the country still shares close ties with the UK and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
In 2013, Sri Lanka hosted the Prince of Wales and world leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.