On the 26 April 1949, the Modern Commonwealth was born out of the international collaboration that had been generated throughout the First and Second World Wars. In an act of continuum, the political leaders in the second half of the 1940’s were determined not to lose this spirit of international brotherhood and mutual support.
With King George VI as its Head, the Commonwealth of Nations was first established in 1949 as a voluntary group of eight independent countries; Australia, Canada, Ceylon, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Today the Commonwealth comprises 56 nations across all 6 inhabited regions of the globe: Africa, Americas, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, and the Pacific. Each of the 56 nations are equal stakeholders and with national populations ranging from 9,600 to 1.3 billion, with multifarious races and faiths, the Commonwealth encapsulates the concept of “Embracing Diversity”.
When King George VI died on 6 February 1952, the Commonwealth Heads of Government invited the young Queen Elizabeth II to become Head of the Commonwealth. For 70 years Her Late Majesty was a constant and supremely uniting influence, with an unique presence and personal style which can never be replicated.
The 21st Century Commonwealth, now in its 73rd year, is building on its dynamic legacy and heritage - with international engagement and diversity at its core, and the opportunity to maximise individual, national and international potential, it offers the possibility to be a model of mutual human respect, support and understanding.
1. Platinum Jubilee Anthem - Simon Haw MBE
2. Commonwealth Salute For Her Majesty The Queen in the year of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee - Lieutenant Colonel C Hallatt & Paul Carroll Words by the Commonwealth Secretariat
3. A Song for The Commonwealth - Simon Haw MBE
4. Hope of The Commonwealth - Ian B. Wilson
5. Zadok The Priest - Georg Frideric Handel
6. Commonwealth Anthem - Paul Carroll
Presented on Commonwealth Day, Monday 14 March 2022
Horse Guards Parade, London.
400 members of the Commonwealth Youth Choir
Band of the Scots Guards
Lieutenant Colonel S N Haw MBE
Lieutenant Colonel C Hallatt
Warrant Officer 2 Michael McGowan
Solo Violin: Eric Wang, Concert Master Commonwealth Orchestra
The Orchestra of the Household Division Green Canopy, a twelve movement work for solo violin and orchestra, gently traces the journey of a woodland in the Northern Hemisphere, from November through to October. The work celebrates one of the most treasured and precious environments, essential for the preservation of the climate on our planet, Earth.
November’s Fall, heralds the approaching winter, which consumes our senses in December’s End; January’s Promise turns the page to a magical scene, full of prospect, before February’s Rising ascends from the frozen depths in thunderous applause. March’s Call bravely proclaims the birth of fragile new life, gathering purpose and resolve in April’s Song, fragrantly wafted on May’s Breeze, until reaching its zenith in June’s Dance.
July’s Celestial Heaven calmly observes the most wondrous jewelled sky, fleetingly masked on summer breezes, only to be matched by the midday glory of August’s Crown. The summer warmth lingers, hesitantly, in September’s Gold, until breaking finally through the winds of change in October’s Turn.
The world-premiere recording of Green Canopy was made in January 2022, performed by violinist Eric Hui-Ti Wang with the Orchestra of the Household Division. They performed the world-premiere performance on Commonwealth Day 14 March 2022 and the recording was released in Commonwealth Week March 2022, in the year of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The composition has been developed in close artist collaboration with Sally Shebe, Director-General of Commonwealth Music and is in support of The Queen’s Green Canopy
01 - November’s Fall
02 - December's End
03 - January's Promise
04 - February Rising
05 - March's Call
06 - April's Song
07 - May's Breath
08 - June's Dance
09 - July's Celestial Heaven
10 - August's Crown
11 - September's Gold
12 - October's Turn