The Prince of Wales and Prime Minister Modi

Thursday 19th April

The Formal Opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) took place at Buckingham Palace today. Ahead of the opening this morning, celebrations of the Commonwealth took place on the Mall. The flags of the 53 Commonwealth nations were lined up by Flag Bearers from The Coldstream Guards.

The Formal Opening was hosted by Her Majesty The Queen, with The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall and other members of the Royal Family also in attendance. 

Speeches were given from The Prince of Wales, The Prime Minister Theresa May, the Commonwealth Secretary General Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC and Head of the Commonwealth, Her Majesty The Queen.

The Prince of Wales said: 

For my part, the Commonwealth has been a fundamental feature of my life for as long as I can remember, beginning with my first visit to Malta when I was just five years old.

The modern Commonwealth has a vital role to play in building bridges between our countries, fairer societies within them and a more secure world around them.

Read His Royal Highness's speech at the Formal Opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in full.

After the opening, The Queen and The Prince of Wales attended a reception, hosted by Her Majesty, for New Commonwealth Heads of Government.The reception was held for Heads of Government who have not attended a CHOGM before. 

In the evening, The Queen hosted a dinner for representatives and Heads of Commonwealth countries.

Her Majesty and The Prince of Wales greeted representatives from all 53 countries of The Commonwealth. Other members of the Royal Family, including The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, The Duke of York, and The Earl and Countess of Wessex also attended the dinner. 

Wednesday 18th April

Visit the official website of The Royal Family for rolling CHOGM updates.

The Prince of Wales and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, visited the Science Museum this morning to view the Illuminating India exhibition and meet members of the British Indian communities. The exhibition celebrates India’s role in the history of science and technology by exploring its contributions to subjects including space exploration and engineering.

During the visit The Prince and Prime Minister Modi, who met in India last November, toured the exhibition and watched a performance by a South Asian dance group. His Royal Highness and the Prime Minister then joined a reception with representatives from British Indian communities and supporters of The Prince's British Asian Trust.

Next, The Prince of Wales attended a reception at the closing session of the CHOGM 2018 Commonwealth Business Forum at the London Guildhall.

His Royal Highness met CHOGM 2018 attendees from across the Commonwealth. The Forum was an opportunity to enhance trade, showcase investment opportunities and promote sustainable development across the Commonwealth.

The Duchess of Cornwall meanwhile attended a roundtable meeting and the closing session of the CHOGM 2018 Women's Forum. The Forum set out to reflect on some of the global challenges still faced by women across the Commonwealth. The discussion topic during Her Royal Highness’s roundtable was ‘An improved response to domestic abuse by employers.’

Since 2009, The Duchess has worked to raise awareness of the issues facing those affected by sexual violence and domestic abuse.

In a speech at the closing session, Her Royal Highness said:

Now some of you in this room know, only too well, the terrible impact of domestic abuse.  Some of you are already working tirelessly to try to eradicate it from society.  I very much hope that all of you will find a chance to make significant connections today and find new ways to bring this problem out into the open – so that together we can make sure that the voices of those who are living with abuse today, wherever they live, are not silenced, but clearly heard.

The Prince of Wales then hosted a reception for the Prince's Trust International in the garden of Clarence House.

Founded by His Royal Highness in 2015, Prince's Trust International aims to share the success of The Prince’s Trust across the Commonwealth.

Next, The Prince of Wales and The Duke of York attended the Malaria No More Summit. The Prince of Wales gave a keynote speech at the Summit, which brought together Commonwealth leaders to discuss how commitments and a call to action can help reduce deaths caused by this preventable and treatable disease.

The Duke of York is Patron of Malaria No More and the Summit was convened with the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership to End Malaria.

The Prince said: 

Ladies and Gentlemen I have been lucky enough to travel throughout the Commonwealth and beyond for a very long time (unbelievably, it seems to me at least, for the last, I tried to work it out the other day, sixty-five years!) and have only too often witnessed at first-hand the devastation that malaria can wreak on communities.  I am delighted therefore, that this issue is being addressed during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. 

 

Tuesday 17th April

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall attended events in London today as part of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) events.

Every two years, leaders from every Commonwealth country come together to discuss their common goals and to share ideas. Members of the Royal family will host and attend a number of events over the week.

Their Royal Highnesses joined a Commonwealth Big Lunch, an event that aims to bring people together to celebrate their Commonwealth connections through food. Part of the wider Big Lunch celebrations, the initiative encourages communities to have lunch together in a simple act of friendship and fun. The Duchess of Patron of The Big Lunch and has attended a number of events in support of the initiative.

The Prince of Wales also met members of the People’s and Youth Forums and discussed the work of young people in the Commonwealth. More than 60% of Commonwealth citizens are under 30 years of age. The Prince spoke to the Youth Forum representatives about topics including sustainability and climate change before His Royal Highness viewed the Sky Ocean Rescue 'Plasticus' whale.

The whale is made up of a quarter of a ton of plastic, representing the amount that enters our oceans every second. Plasticus has just returned home to London after a nationwide tour to highlight the problem with single-use plastic.

The Prince has worked for many years to promote sustainability and has highlighted the issue of plastic in the oceans.

His Royal Highness said in 2017: “I find it sobering to think that almost all the plastic ever produced is still here somewhere on the planet in one form or another.”

Later, at Clarence House, The Prince of Wales had meetings with Mr Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, and Mr. Rick Hou, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands.