Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Commonwealth Backing for Prince from Queen; 'It Is My Wish That Charles Should Carry on the Work Started by My Father'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Commonwealth Backing for Prince from Queen; 'It Is My Wish That Charles Should Carry on the Work Started by My Father'

Article excerpt

Byline: Robert Jobson Royal Editor

THE Queen today publicly backed Prince Charles to succeed her as head of the Commonwealth.

At Buckingham Palace, she told leaders from across the world: "It is my sincere 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.

"By continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities, I believe we will secure a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world for those who follow us: a world where the Commonwealth's generosity of spirit can bring its gentle touch of healing and hope to all." Her wishes are expected to be formally ratified by the 53 member states tomorrow.

She spoke as she welcomed dignitaries to the official opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The ceremony took place in the palace's largest room, the ballroom.

The Queen's endorsement was a highly significant moment for the prince, who has just returned from opening the Commonwealth Games in Australia. He earlier addressed the 46 heads of government and other representatives, saying: "This is an occasion to celebrate, with renewed pride, our remarkable Commonwealth family."

He set out his hopes that the Commonwealth would be "a cornerstone for the lives of future generations." Malta's prime minister Joseph Muscat, outgoing chairman-in-office of the organisation, appeared to confirm the prince's future role, saying in his speech: "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 ventures."

The ceremony began with Emeli Sande, whose father is from Zambia, singing the national anthem. …

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