Queen endorses Prince Charles as future Commonwealth leader

Lester Mason
April 19, 2018

Issues under discussion at this year's summit include ocean conservation, cybersecurity and trade between the member countries.

During the opening ceremony Theresa May is expected to thank the Queen for her life-long devotion to the Commonwealth affectionately known as the family of nations.

With Charles and other senior royals sat in front of her in Buckingham Palace's ballroom, the Queen told the delegates who included Prime Minister Theresa May: "It remains a great pleasure and honour to serve you as Head of the Commonwealth and to observe, with pride and satisfaction, that this is a flourishing network".

May paid tribute to the queen's "service and dedication" to the Commonwealth, which Elizabeth has headed since 1952.

In her opening speech, the queen said the Commonwealth was created with eight states with the ratification of the London Declaration in 1949 when her father, King George VI, hosted the event in London.

On the closing day on Friday, leaders are expected to discuss who should follow Queen Elizabeth in the role.

"The modern Commonwealth has a vital role to play in building bridges between our countries", he said. There is only one person qualified to succeed her as head of the Commonwealth: her son, the Prince of Wales. Over many years you have been the Commonwealth's most steadfast and fervent champion. "I believe we'll secure a safer and more prosperous and sustainable world for the future generation", the Queen said while declaring open the meet with its theme being "Towards a Common Future".

A spectacle of pomp and pageantry is being staged to welcome the dignitaries, with a guard of honour and flag bearers displaying the flags of the Commonwealth's 53 member states waiting to greet them. "And we commit to sustaining this Commonwealth, which you have so carefully nurtured".

Given its highly diverse membership, if agreements can be struck within the Commonwealth, they can likely achieve wider support.

Meetings began in London on Monday with three days of forums - covering youth, women, business and civil society - and culminate with the official retreat for leaders at Windsor Castle on Friday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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