Published: Fri, April 20, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Queen Elizabeth II wants son Charles to lead Commonwealth

Queen Elizabeth II wants son Charles to lead Commonwealth

The prime minister is also expected to support British Prime Minister Theresa May's call for Commonwealth members to curb the use of plastics as she is set to unveil an unprecedented British ban on plastic straws, cups and other one-use items in an effort to clean up the world's oceans.

It is widely assumed that the Queen, who celebrates her 92nd birthday on Saturday, is presiding over her last CHOGM having curtailed her overseas travel, apart from Europe, in 2013.

It was a surprisingly blunt statement from the Queen, and one leaders will find hard to ignore when succession is discussed at a private retreat at Windsor Castle on Friday.

She highlighted Commonwealth initiatives including a "blue charter" to protect the marine environment, saying the British royal family was "proud to play a part" in them.

London hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) for the first time in 20 years, a move seen as a chance for Britain to reconnect with its former colonies and revitalise the loose alliance of Commonwealth countries ahead of Brexit.

The Queen received long applause from the leaders of 53 Commonwealth countries as they demonstrated their gratitude to her for her service to the network she has headed since 1952.

The leaders of the Commonwealth nations are expected to decide Friday on whether Charles should succeed his mother as head of the Commonwealth.

However, now that the Queen has stated her preference, it's unlikely anyone else will be chosen.

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Addressing Commonwealth heads of governments at Buckingham Palace, the Queen revealed her hopes for her eldest son and heir to the throne is appointed to the position after her.

"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", she told the leaders.

Pakistan's prime minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, with Prince Charles at Clarence House, London. Joe Zasada, chair of the Royal Commonwealth Society of Canada, said the Queen has provided a strong example for her son and other royals to follow through her commitment to the Commonwealth.

And she appeared in her element yesterday as she welcomed new leaders of the Commonwealth with a afternoon drinks reception, clutching what appeared to be her favourite tipple.

More than 100 officers and soldiers from the Coldstream Guards are offered the honour guard, wearing their famous scarlet tunics and bearskins, alongside the Band and Corps of Drums.

The Canada PM is likely to extend his support to the United Kingdom government's ban on the use of plastics.

The Queen said she was happy to welcome leaders into her home.

"I pray that this Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting will not only revitalize the bonds between our countries, but will also give the Commonwealth a renewed relevance to all its citizens, finding practical solutions to their problems, and giving life to their aspirations", he said.

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