Queen Elizabeth has marked Commonwealth Day by promoting "respect and understanding" between the Commonwealth countries.

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

The 90-year-old royal has penned a moving message centred around the theme of peace for this year's Commonwealth Day, which takes place on Monday (13.02.17).

The message - which will form part of the service at Westminster Abbey - reaches out to the 52 member states of the Commonwealth, including Australia, Canada, and Pakistan, and urges each country to "build peace" between one another.

The Queen noted in her speech, which is printed in the order of service: "The cornerstones on which peace is founded are, quite simply, respect and understanding for one another. Working together we build peace by defending the dignity of every individual and community.

"By upholding justice and the rule of law and by striving for societies that are fair and offer opportunities for all, we overcome division and find reconciliation, so that the benefits of progress and prosperity may be multiplied and shared.

"As members of the Commonwealth family, we can find much to be thankful for in the inheritances we have received from those who came before us. Through consensus and co-operation, great things have been achieved."

The monarch will be joined by Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward at the ceremony, due to take place later on Monday.

During the service, Olympian Dame Jessca Ennis-Hill will carry the Queen's baton for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, escorted by fellow athletes from the UK and Australia.

The baton will then set off on its global relay from Buckingham Palace.

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