More than 500 councils, charities and community groups, including some from Hertfordshire, took part in Commonwealth Day celebrations today by holding flag-raising ceremonies.

The event - the largest single raising of the Commonwealth flag in history - saw residents around the world affirming their support for values shared by the organisation’s 53 member countries.

At Watford Town Hall, Councillor George Derbyshire, vice chairman of Watford Borough Council, raised The Commonwealth flag. A newly written Commonwealth Affirmation was read out, together with a message from Her Majesty The Queen.

Another event took place at Hertsmere Borough Council’s offices. Edan Phillips, from Hartsbourne School in Bushey, correctly named all 53 Commonwealth flags as part of a competition held by Mayor of Hertsmere, Councillor Paul Morris OBE.

The nine year old helped raise the flag at the ceremony this morning.

Councillor Morris said: "This is the first time Hertsmere has held celebrations to mark Commonwealth Day and having local schoolchildren join me to help lead the ceremony made it even more special."

As part of nationwide celebrations flags have been raised across the country to mark the commitment to the Commonwealth, to show appreciation of its values and the opportunities it offers to citizens around the world.

At the event the mayor read a specially written Commonwealth Affirmation before raising the Commonwealth Flag.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 independent countries - including the UK.

The Commonwealth includes some of the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries, spanning five regions. Thirty-one of its members are small states, many of them island nations.