Crowds of well-wishers eagerly waited outside Westminster Abbey in London on March 9 for a glimpse of the Duchess of Cambridge, as she carried out one of her final engagements before her due date. The Duchess, née Kate Middleton, was attending the annual Commonwealth Day Service, a multi-faith service where she was accompanied by her husband Prince William.
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Duchess Kate and Prince William missed last years service
Kate was all smiles as she headed into the Abbey with William by her side. The pair have been married nearly four years and are expecting their second child in April. The royal couple are already parents to 19-month-old Prince George.
The 33-year-old Duchess wrapped up warm in a pale pink Alexander McQueen coat - which she previously wore in 2013 at Trooping the Colour, one of her final engagements before the birth of George - and accessorised with a Jane Taylor hat.
Duchess Kate cradled her bump as she entered Westminster Abbey
The Commonwealth Day Service is held on the second Monday of March, and was also attended by Prince Charles and Camilla.
In her pre-recorded speech, the Queen told members of the Commonwealth that they are "guardians of a precious flame". The message, which was recorded in the Regency Room at Buckingham Palace, will have the theme of A Young Commonwealth. The Queen will advise that the Commonwealth can only flourish "if its ideas and ideals continue to be young and fresh and relevant to all generations".
The Queen arrived by herself to the Commonwealth Day Service
She cited the success of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as an example of "youthfulness and vitality", and credit the Commonwealth as a "globally diverse and inclusive community". She also however warned the Commonwealth that "when common goals fall apart, so does the exchange of ideas. And if people no longer trust or understand each other, the talking will soon stop too."
The Queen continued on to say that there are "huge advantages" to being a part of the Commonwealth and discuss the future of the association, which began over 65 years ago.