The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, and members of the Royal Family hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Formal Opening, Reception, and Queen’s Dinner at Buckingham Palace on April 19th. Many expect this to be the Queen’s last CHOGM, as she stopped long-haul travel, and CHOGM is held in a different Commonwealth country every two years. Evolving from the annual Commonwealth Prime Minister’s Conference, the Queen first attended CHOGM in 1973, and despite having no role in the proceedings, the events hosted by the Queen are the highlights of the Meeting. Click HERE to take a look at past CHOGMs, and HERE to take a look at the Commonwealth Forums.
In the morning, the Queen hosted the Formal Opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace with 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 in attendance. During the ceremony, the Queen gave a speech and declared CHOGM formally open and the Prince of Wales also gave a speech. Afterwards, the whole group posed for the ‘family photograph’ and ended with a 53-gun salute in honour of the 53 current members of the Commonwealth.
In the afternoon, the Queen and Prince of Wales hosted a lunch reception for new Commonwealth Heads of Government at Buckingham Palace, including the leaders from The Bahamas, Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Jamaica, Kiribati, Mauritius, New Zealand, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, St Lucia, Tonga and Vanuatu.
In the evening, the Queen (wearing her Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara and Ruby and Diamond Floral Bandeau Necklace) hosted her traditional CHOGM Dinner at in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace, which was preceded by a drinks reception in the Blue Drawing Room. The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall (in the Greville Tiara), the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, the Princess Royal (in her Festoon Tiara), Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Earl and Countess of Wessex (wearing her Aquamarine Necklace Tiara), the Duke of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (in the Iveagh Tiara), Princess Alexandra (wearing the Ogilvy Tiara) and Princess Michael of Kent (wearing the Kent City of London Fringe Tiara) were in attendance. Click HERE for a more detailed article on the Dinner!