A NEWPORT boy got to meet Prince Harry and Meghan Markle today at a special Commonwealth Day service in London.

Iesu Williams was with the Welsh Muslims Cultural Foundation group who were invited to be part of the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.

He was one of more than 800 schoolchildren and young people who were at the service.

Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prime Minister Theresa May were all at the service.

Celebrated across the Commonwealth, the day is an opportunity for each of the institution’s 53 member states to highlight the positive values of the family of nations.

In her Commonwealth Day message, which is printed in the event’s order of service, the Queen praised the “Commonwealth connection” that allows people from different nations to bond and celebrate “diversity”.

London will soon host a gathering of leaders from the family of nations and the Queen, who is head of the Commonwealth, also paid tribute to the biennial event as an example of how consensus can “help to create a future that is fairer, more secure, more prosperous and sustainable”. With the UK leaving the European Union the importance of the Commonwealth may increase according to some commentators.

Members of the royal family arrived ahead of the Queen including the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of York and Princess Royal as did the Prime Minister Theresa May Screams and shouts from the public greeted Meghan and Harry when they arrived and the American actress looked stylish in a dress and coat by Amanda Wakeley and hat by Stephen Jones.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who was joined by the Duke, wore a dress and coat by Beulah and hat by Lock and Co.

The Commonwealth has played an important role throughout the Queen’s reign, and she takes a special interest in the family of nations.

Harry and Meghan signalled their commitment to the Commonwealth and its people when they both mentioned the institution – which has the Queen as its head – during an interview to mark their engagement.

The prince said they looked forward to travelling around the Commonwealth, meeting some of the 2.4 billion people from the 53 member states.

During the service Theresa May gave a bible reading, former One Direction band member Liam Payne performed singer-songwriter John Mayer’s hit song Waiting On The World To Change, while the Portsmouth Gospel Choir sang Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Also among the 2,000-strong congregation was the prime minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland, high commissioners, ambassadors, senior politicians from across the UK and Commonwealth and faith leaders.

Dr Andrew Bastawrous, an eye surgeon who has turned a smartphone into an examination tool to combat avoidable blindness in developing countries, gave the reflection.

The surgeon, founder of social enterprise Peek Vision which works to bring better vision and health to everyone, told the congregation: “Advances in technology, treatment and public health mean that for most poor vision and blindness no longer needs to be a life sentence.

“For the first time in human history it is within our power to eliminate avoidable blindness and poor vision for everybody everywhere.

“Every country in the Commonwealth has the opportunity to transform their citizens’ eye health in a matter of years, not generations.”

He went on to highlight the Commonwealth’s theme for 2018 – Towards a Common Future – telling the congregation “we have a shared history but more importantly we have a shared future. “By working together we can make that future better for millions of citizens across the Commonwealth and the globe. At a time when there is such focus on division, vision can unite all of us.”