The Duchess of Cornwall has been announced as The Royal Commonwealth Society’s inaugural Vice-Patron. The news came at a reception marking the 150th anniversary of the society which was hosted by Lord (Tariq) Ahmad, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and UN, on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government.
Those in attendance at the reception included representatives of Her Majesty’s Government, the Commonwealth diplomatic corps, representatives from the Society’s international network of over 60 branches and Accredited Commonwealth Organisations.
Greg Munro, Chief Executive of The Royal Commonwealth Society, said: “Today’s reception is a celebration of all that The Royal Commonwealth Society has achieved over the past 150 years. But more than that, it’s about looking to the future. Throughout its long history, the Society has always been at the forefront of pushing for progressive change in the Commonwealth and has itself changed a great deal during that time.
“From its origins as an academic and literary society, the Society has transformed to become a charitable organisation whose work impacts the lives of thousands of people worldwide. Today, we reaffirm our mission to effect change by connecting, convening and equipping people and communities to advance the values of the Commonwealth. To fulfil that mission, we will continue to adapt to a changing world.”
Lord Howell, President of The Royal Commonwealth Society, noted that: “The Royal Commonwealth Society may be 150 years old, but we are also 150 years new – building on the past but heading into the future. The modern Commonwealth has become a huge oasis of democratic values and law in an increasingly dangerous and lawless world. We are proud not merely to be part of it, but to be making an impact on and meeting the needs of this ever more closely connected assembly of nations and peoples in their billions, young and old. This we will continue to do with all the strength we can muster.”
Her Majesty The Queen has been Patron of The Royal Commonwealth Society since 1952, and the Duchess of Cornwall’s relationship with the organisation began in 2014 when she accepted the patronage of The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition. The world’s oldest international schools’ writing competition, The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition was founded in 1883 to “promote literacy, self-expression and creativity amongst young people throughout the Commonwealth.”