Prince Charles 'deeply touched' to be named next head of the Commonwealth

21 April, 2018, 03:43 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • The Queen

"It is my honest wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations and will decide that one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949", the 92-year-old said on Thursday during the formal opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace.

Commonwealth leaders agreed Friday that Prince Charles should follow his mother Queen Elizabeth II as the next head of the group, the BBC and other media reported.

The announcement had been expected since the queen said Thursday that she hoped her son and heir would lead the Commonwealth after her.

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo suggested the Queen is "winding down" her duties as head of the Commonwealth as he paid tribute to the monarch.

Prince Charles is a long-time champion of environmental causes - a priority for the Commonwealth. Issues under discussion at this year's summit include ocean conservation, cybersecurity and trade among the member countries.

While speaking about Commonwealth reform, Sheikh Hasina said, "The organisation in its present form, structure and orientations, is inadequate and can only partially meet expectations of the peoples".

A specially invited audience seated in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace was introduced to Heads of Government and senior leaders from 53 Commonwealth Member Countries, as well as the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.

She underscored making the Commonwealth more representative, focusing on innovative financing and involving private sector partnership and programme co-financing initiatives.

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Queen Elizabeth has been the Commonwealth's symbolic figurehead since her father king George VI's death in 1952.

"By doing so, the Commonwealth can be a cornerstone for the lives of future generations, just as it has been for so many of us".

"We are equally elated by the vigour with which His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales actively participates in Commonwealth affairs and puts a strong Commonwealth dimension in his various national and global initiatives".

The Commonwealth represents about 2.4 billion people.

Meanwhile, the government has indicated it would welcome Zimbabwe's re-entry to the Commonwealth after Robert Mugabe pulled the country out in 2003.

Rwanda has been chosen to host the next summit in 2020.

Thanking the Queen for her "generous invitation" to hold the retreat in one of her many palaces, British PM added: "At the very moment worldwide cooperation is so important, some nations are choosing instead to shun the rules-based system that underpins global security and prosperity Commonwealth can play its part to support this rules-based order, and the very concept of worldwide cooperation".

The head of the Commonwealth usually makes regular visits to the member states to foster these connections personally.

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