The Queen has praised the contribution of volunteers at Gold Coast 2018 ©Getty Images

The Queen has praised the volunteers who will help out at next month's Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in her message to mark Commonwealth Day.

Promoting the value and unifying influence of the Commonwealth, the Queen said sport contributes to building peace and development.

In her message which follows the theme of the 2018 Commonwealth Day service - "Towards A Common Future" - and published to mark the annual Commonwealth Day tomorrow, the Queen said: "The excitement and positive potential of friendly rivalry will be on display next month as we enjoy the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia.

"Contributing to the success of the Games, alongside athletes and officials, will be thousands of volunteers.

"Voluntary effort, by people working as individuals, in groups or through larger associations, is so often what shapes the Commonwealth and all our communities.

"By pledging to serve the common good in new ways, we can ensure that the Commonwealth continues to grow in scope and stature, to have an even greater impact on people's lives, today, and for future generations."

About 15,000 volunteers - known as "Games Shapers" - are expected to be on duty during Gold Coast 2018.

They are set to undertake more than one million hours of unpaid work during the Games due to take place between April 4 and 15. 

There are expected to be 15,000 volunteers working more than one million unpaid hours during Gold Coast 2018 ©Twitter
There are expected to be 15,000 volunteers working more than one million unpaid hours during Gold Coast 2018 ©Twitter

The Queen added there was a "very special value" in the insights people gained through the Commonwealth.

"Through exchanging ideas and seeing life from other perspectives, we grow in understanding and work more collaboratively towards a common future," she said.

"Shared inheritances help us overcome difference so that diversity is a cause for celebration rather than division."

The Queen said she looked forward to welcoming leaders from the 53 nations of the Commonwealth to her homes in London and Windsor next month for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

A Service of Celebration for Commonwealth Day is due to be held at Westminster Abbey in London tomorrow. 

Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the UK and will be broadcast live by the BBC.

Other royal guests are due include the Duchess of Cambridge, Duke of York, Princess Royal, Countess of Wessex, the Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra.

Meghan Markle, the American actress, is also expected to attend the event with Prince Harry, who she is due to marry in Windsor on May 19. 

Also among the 2,000-strong congregation will be the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, Commonwealth Secretary-General Baroness Scotland, High Commissioners, Ambassadors, senior politicians from across the UK and Commonwealth, faith leaders and more than 800 schoolchildren and young people.