Queen officially declares CHOGM 2018 open - hints Prince Charles will succeed her

BRITAIN-INDIA-DIPLOMACY

BRITAIN-INDIA-DIPLOMACY

British Prime Minister Theresa May was among those in attendance Thursday, telling the leaders that the summit would "take on some of the 21st century's biggest questions".

Prince Charles, a strong environmentalist who is nearly a certainty to replace The Queen as the head of the Commonwealth, spoke about the success of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Prince Harry, Prince William and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall also attended the event.

Charles has been highlighting his affinity with the Commonwealth in recent years and in his words of welcome to the leaders he 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'.

"By doing so, the Commonwealth can be a cornerstone for the lives of future generations, just as it has been for so many of us". The singer Emeli Sandé sang the national anthem and a group of Commonwealth singers performed Natasha Bedingfield's song Unwritten.

Downing Street earlier said a decision on whether Charles should succeed his mother as Commonwealth head was expected from the heads of the member states on Friday while media reports suggest the mood was that Charles will get their backing.

"You have been the Commonwealth's most steadfast and fervent champion", May said.

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He added that Judge Loya's death was even raised by the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court at a press conference. Judge Loya died on 1 December 2014 while attending a wedding with fellow judges in Nagpur.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said he will raise LGBT rights with leaders of Commonwealth nations on the fringes of the meeting. He told delegates of the vigour with which Charles participated in Commonwealth affairs.

"We are certain that, when he will be called upon to do so, he will provide solid and passionate leadership for our Commonwealth".

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (centre) attends the formal opening of the CHOGM hosted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (Bottom) in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace. There was no mention of the issue that has dominated headlines since the Commonwealth leaders arrived in the UK - Britain's treatment of the Windrush generation. "Put simply, we are one of the world's great convening powers, a global association of volunteers who believe in the tangible benefit that flows from exchanging ideas and experiences and respect each other's point of view, and we seem to be growing year by year", she said.

While Canada has made reducing the use of plastic to protect the oceans a G7 priority and moved to ban plastic microbeads in bath and body products, it's unclear how far Trudeau plans to go in following May's lead.

"He has been a proud supporter of the Commonwealth for more than four decades and has spoken passionately about the organization's unique diversity", May's spokesperson said, according to Reuters.

She says it has been a pleasure to serve what has become a flourishing network of nations.

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