As the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting drew to a close on Friday 20th April, there were many Commonwealth events still going on across London and Windsor.
Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the final day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 was the fact that Prince Charles had been chosen by all Commonwealth leaders to become the next Head of the Commonwealth. The Head of the Commonwealth is not a hereditary title and so upon the Accession of Prince Charles as King, he would not have instantly become Head of the 53 Commonwealth nations.
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At a private retreat at Windsor Castle on Friday, Commonwealth leaders met to discuss the topic of who should succeed Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. While British Prime Minister, Theresa May, and Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, had already given their backing to Prince Charles, the decision needed to be unanimous among the 53 leaders.
Reports coming out of the retreat suggested that the decision to make Prince Charles the next Head of the Commonwealth had been unanimous and that when the time comes, The Prince of Wales will succeed The Queen in this role.
Also discussed at the retreat was the topic of Zimbabwe rejoining the Commonwealth. It is reported that the Government would welcome the re-entry of Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth after Robert Mugabe pulled the country out in 2003.
Elsewhere The Countess of Wessex was out in force as she attended the CHOGM Spouses Programme Event at Kew Gardens and was a chance for the Spouses of the Commonwealth leaders to meet with each other informally and commemorate the strong ‘people to people’ bonds of the Commonwealth.
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On Friday morning, The Earl of Wessex attended the Commonwealth Games Federation Sports Breakfast at the Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel in London. The establishment of the Commonwealth Games Federation will help to continue development across the bloc after fiver new Commonwealth countries won medals at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Speaking of his experience of the Commonwealth Games at the Breakfast, Prince Edward commented, “As a Commonwealth Sports Movement, we can be proud that the games set the benchmark for gender equality with an equal number of medal opportunities for men and women. We can be proud that the Games included the largest ever fully integrated Para-sport programme. We can also be proud that five countries won their first ever Commonwealth medals, providing us all with motivation to advance sports development across the Commonwealth as we look ahead to Birmingham 2022.”
As the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting draws to a close, thoughts turn to Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Concert which is set to be held at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 21st April. The concert is set to be a celebration of both Her Majesty’s 92nd birthday and her life-long commitment to the Commonwealth.
As we say goodbye to CHOGM 2018, our attention turns towards CHOGM 2020 which according to reports is set to be held in Malaysia – the first time since the 1980s.