The Queen has praised the "courage, commitment and selfless dedication" of the Commonwealth nations in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic during a televised address on Commonwealth Day.
Her Majesty's message from St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle was part of a special television programme called ‘A Celebration For Commonwealth Day’ which senior members of the Royal Family also participated in.
The Queen, who is also Head of the Armed Forces said: "Whilst experiences of the last year have been different across the Commonwealth, stirring examples of courage, commitment and selfless dedication to duty have been demonstrated in every Commonwealth nation and territory, notably by those working on the frontline who have been delivering healthcare and other public services in their communities.
"We have also taken encouragement from remarkable advances in developing new vaccines and treatments."
As Head of the Commonwealth, the Queen traditionally attends the annual Commonwealth Day service, which usually takes place on the second Monday of March at Westminster Abbey.
It was cancelled this year for the first time in nearly 50 years, because of the pandemic.
In her message, the Queen acknowledged the importance of communicating via technology throughout these "testing times", which she said "has been new to some of us".
"Increasingly, we have found ourselves able to enjoy such communication, as it offers an immediacy that transcends boundaries or division, helping any sense of distance to disappear" Her Majesty said.
She added: "Looking forward, relationships with others across the Commonwealth will remain important, as we strive to deliver a common future that is sustainable and more secure, so that the nations and neighbourhoods in which we live, wherever they are located, become healthier and happier places for us all."
The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex also took part in the special programme, which aired on BBC One, sharing their perspectives on the importance of the UK’s Commonwealth links.
Prince Charles said: "The Commonwealth has been a corner stone of my life for as long as I can remember.
"It is my dearest wish that I might also be the cornerstone of a sustainable future for us all.
"As we recover from everything that we have endured and continue to endure through this pandemic we have an unprecedented opportunity to change course by harnessing the extraordinarily potential of our Commonwealth family."
The Commonwealth is an association of 54 member states with a combined population of 2.4 billion citizens, almost a third of the world's people.
Commonwealth nations have been some of Britain’s most important military allies throughout history.
In 2016, the Government lifted the five-year UK residency requirement previously required for members of the Commonwealth applying to join the British Armed Forces.