By Lindsay Thompson
LONDON, England — The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) wrapped up days of high-level intense sessions and agreed that His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, 69, succeeds his mother Queen Elizabeth II as head of the Commonwealth of Nations.
During the formal opening ceremony on Thursday, April 19, at Buckingham Palace, the Queen, in her keynote address hinted that Prince Charles should succeed her as head of the 53-member organisation. She said: “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. It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations and decide that one day the Prince of Wales will carry on the important work started by my father in 1949.”
On Friday during the final CHOGM Press Conference, the Prime Minister of Britain, the Rt Hon Theresa May made the announcement, but also noted that the decision was reflected in the Leaders’ Statement: “The fifty-three member countries of the Commonwealth met at Windsor Castle today, at the generous invitation of Her Majesty The Queen. As Her Majesty enters her seventh decade as Head of the Commonwealth, we put on record our continuing gratitude for the duty and commitment Her Majesty has shown to all members of the Commonwealth over those decades.
“We recognise the role of the Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples.
“The next Head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales,” according to the statement.
The Dr the Rt Hon Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, who also addressed the final CHOGM Press Conference, commended the Leaders’ decision to vote Prince Charles as head of the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government met in Retreat to discuss matters relating to the theme, ‘Towards a Common future’.
The Bahamas delegation was led by Prime Minister, Dr the Hon Hubert Minnis who engaged in high-level dialogues with other Commonwealth leaders, April 16-18.
The Bahamas joined The Commonwealth in 1973.
Out of the 53 member states, 46 leaders attended CHOGM, with the remaining attending were foreign ministers.
THE Commonwealth Heads of Government agreed that His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, should succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II as head of the Commonwealth of Nations. The decision was announced during the closing press conference on Friday, April 20. Prince Charles is pictured at the podium addressing the formal opening of CHOGM on Thursday, April 19. (PHOTOS/CHOGM)