A London-based Maori cultural group performed twice in front of The Royal Family on Monday evening during Commonwealth Day celebrations.
Ngati Ranana London Maori Club sung a traditional song in front of the Queen at a packed Westminster Abbey in the afternoon. The group then performed the haka at Marlborough House in London in front of Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince William.
They were guests of Baroness Scotland at a reception at Marlborough House, the home of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the institution’s civil service.
Ngati Ranana was established in 1958 by a small group of New Zealanders living in London. The group has promoted the cultural uniqueness of Maori across the UK and Europe in a number of performances of the traditional waiata and haka.
The ceremony at Westminster Abbey was to mark Commonwealth Day, celebrating the values and cultural contributions of the institution’s 53 members. This year’s Commonwealth Day theme was “Towards a Common Future” which emphasises how the Commonwealth can address global challenges and work to create a better future.
The event involved an array of guests including members of the wider Royal Family, Prime Minister Theresa May and school children. Celebrities were also invited including singer Liam Payne who performed a cover of John Mayer’s Waiting on the World to Change at the celebration.
Other members of the Royal Family included Prince Harry, his fiancée Meghan Markle, Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles, and the Duchess of Cornwall. It was Meghan Markle’s first official public appearance with the Queen.
In her Commonwealth Day message, which featured in the event’s order of service, the Queen praised the “Commonwealth connection” that allows people from different nations to bond and celebrate “diversity”.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are expected to attend the Commonwealth Games hosted by the Gold Coast in Australia next month.