Last night, The Duke of Cambridge attended the “Welcome to the UK” reception at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. The event is part of an incredibly busy week for the Royals, which will see representatives from 53 countries gather together for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
During the CHOGM, Commonwealth representatives will discuss various issues and global challenges, including trade and investments. The attendees embody almost every religion, culture, and geographical region from around the globe.
Representatives from the worlds of business, government, and civil society will exchange views and ultimately decide upon actions that will help to provide not only a better but a brighter future for everyone. The theme of this year’s summit is “Towards a Common Future”: the aim is to try and focus on working together to be able to provide a more sustainable, fair, prosperous, and secure future for every Commonwealth citizen.
Prince William made a short speech at the beginning of the evening, sharing that: “The Commonwealth has rightly been described as “the mother of all networks” . There is no other organisation on earth that marries politics with the civil society and the networks that the Forums represent. You represent millions of diverse voices, so use your combined intellect and creativity to challenge the status quo and to push the boundaries of what Commonwealth is capable of.”
“My purpose here on stage tonight is to welcome you to the United Kingdom, and I am delighted to do so,” he said. “If I may, though my duty is to formally welcome you on behalf of the whole country, I wanted to extend a personal note of welcome too.”
The Duke also added a more personal note to the speech: “During the course of this week, across all different events, you will be seeing a lot of the Royal Family. For us in the Royal Family, supporting The Queen who has dedicated her life loyally and without fail to the Commonwealth is an enormous honour.”
The Commonwealth’s 53 leaders will decide whether Prince Charles should become the next Head of Commonwealth after The Queen on Friday, Downing Street says pic.twitter.com/n84tGcPgOj
— The Crown Chronicles (@crownchronicles) 16 April 2018
As second in line to the throne, William may one day become Head of the Commonwealth. It was announced yesterday that a decision will be made this Friday regarding the possibility of William’s father, Prince Charles, becoming the next Head of the Commonwealth. The leaders who have assembled in London for the CHOGM will discuss the matter and come to a mutual decision. Downing Street has said they support The Prince of Wales to succeed Her Majesty.
The Duke of Cambridge also had the opportunity to speak with a few of the Premier Skills Head Coaches as well as view the Premier League’s trophy. The Queen’s grandson is, of course, President of the English Football Association (FA). There has still been no official announcement made regarding William’s attendance at the FA Cup final, which is scheduled for the same day as his brother’s wedding to Meghan Markle.
The Duke of Cambridge enjoyed some examples of partnerships between the UK and the Commonwealth which were being showcased at the reception. One example stemming from the fashion industry was The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, which showcases styles from Commonwealth designers. The Fashion Exchange was launched back in February at a reception attended by William’s wife, Catherine, The Countess of Wessex and Princess Beatrice.
Prince William also took a tour of exhibition stands collated by the Department for International Trade and the GREAT campaign, set to ‘demonstrate creativity, technology and innovation from across the UK’.
He was spotted eyeing up a Royal Enfield motorbike – we know that the Duke is a keen motorcyclist and took one for a spin on a recent visit to the Midlands.
Also in display was a Space Descent Virtual Reality experience with Tim Peake, created in conjunction with the Science Museum.