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Prince Charles gets taste of being King as he leads Royal Family for Commonwealth Day

The Prince of Wales, 74, appeared in good spirits as he arrived at Westminster Abbey for the annual Commonwealth Day Service. The future King attended the service beside Her Majesty, 95, for the celebration that is observed on the second Monday of March each year.

The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are typically joined by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge for the occasion.

The day is celebrated across the world, in Commonwealth nations in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas.

In a number of countries, the day is also a public holiday.

The Commonwealth is a political grouping of 54 nations, which are ex-British Empire colonies.

It is estimated that the Commonwealth covers a quarter of the world’s population.

The Queen’s appearance at the event is her first outing away from a royal residence in a number of months after she was diagnosed with Covid.

As Prince Charles steps up his royal duties to support the Queen, it has been noted that the Prince of Wales will succeed his mother as Head of the Commonwealth when the time comes.

He will also travel to Rwanda in April for an upcoming Commonwealth meeting on behalf of the Queen in June.

The Queen’s most recent trip overseas was to Malta in 2015, where she opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

The meeting will still include Barbados, which became a republic in November 2021 and officially removed the Queen as head of state.

The Prince of Wales attended the event in Bridgetown, describing how “the creation of this republic offers a new beginning”.

He said: “From the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our histories, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.

“Emancipation, self-government and independence were your way-points.

“Freedom, justice and self-determination have been your guides.”

Prince Charles added: “The creation of this republic offers a new beginning, but it also marks a point on a continuum – a milestone on the long road you have not only travelled but which you have built.”

He emphasised the importance of a continued relationship between Barbados and the UK, as the new republic’s “constitutional status changes”.

He continued on to reiterate “the close and trusted partnership between Barbados and the United Kingdom as vital members of the Commonwealth”.

Prince Charles highlighted “our common determination to defend the values we both cherish and to pursue the goals we share; and the myriad connections between the people of our countries – through which flow admiration and affection, co-operation and opportunity – strengthening and enriching us all”.

This is a developing story. More to follow…



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