Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) – Formal Opening

Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Formal Opening in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace on the morning of Thursday 19th April 2018. Her Majesty was joined by members of the royal family including: the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Countess of Wessex, the Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra. The opening was streamed live via Facebook and you can view it by clicking here.
© The Royal Family via Twitter
During the ceremony, Her Majesty has given a speech and declared CHOGM formally open. In her speech The Queen expressed her wish that her son, Prince Charles, succeed her as Head of the Commonwealth. “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 will decide that one day The Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949.” For full speech click here.

print screen of live feed

The Prince of Wales given words of welcome to guests who included Heads of Government, The Commonwealth Secretary-General, High Commissioners, Foreign Ministers, alongside representatives from Commonwealth organisations, faith leaders and CHOGM forum delegates. The Heads of Government were welcomed to Buckingham Palace by a Guard of Honour, a Regimental Band, a Corps of Drums and Commonwealth flag bearers. The ceremony reflected the overall CHOGM theme of ‘Towards a Common Future’ with a focus on youth.
© The Royal Family via Twitter

The National Anthem was performed by Emeli Sande, a British singer songwriter of Zambian heritage. The compere of the opening was Reeta Chakrabarti. Stories of the Commonwealth were told by PJ Cole, a Queen’s Young Leader and Krystle Reid, Commonwealth Young Person of the Year. The ceremony also featured cultural performances celebrating talent across the regions of the Commonwealth. Speeches were given by the UK Prime Minister, the Commonwealth Secretary-General and the Prime Minister of Malta, as the outgoing Commonwealth Chair-in-Office.
© The Royal Family via Twitter

In keeping with the CHOGM tradition, the ceremony concluded with the family photograph. A 53-gun salute was fired by King’s Troop in Green Park to ceremonially mark the opening of CHOGM, and to welcome 53 current members of the Commonwealth. After the Heads of Government have arrived at Buckingham Palace, the Guard of Honour, Regimental Band, Corps of Drums and Commonwealth flag bearers proceeded from the Forecourt down The Mall to take up position in Friary Court at St James’s Palace, ahead of the formal welcome by the Prime Minister and the Commonwealth Secretary-General.
© The Royal Family via Twitter

The military procession was followed by a music and dance performance which took place at the junction at Marlborough Road, giving members of the public an opportunity to celebrate the Commonwealth. The cultural performance were led by Kinetika Bloco, a youth charity performance group which is based at the Southbank Centre. I must say, I really enjoyed the opening. The speeches were interesting and I do recommend watching live feed of the formal opening. In the evening, Her Majesty will host The Queen’s Dinner at Buckingham Palace. It will be a tiara event.

Outfit & jewellery:
Silk Tea Dress Marigold Print by Suzannah.
UFO watch.
Back-to-Front Pearl earrings by Heavenly Necklaces.
Necklace with ‘S’.

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