Queen to Host CHOGM Formal Opening

HMS Queen Elizabeth

The Queen will host the CHOGM Formal Opening at Buckingham Palace

Thursday 19th April 2018

Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) Formal Opening in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace on the morning of Thursday 19th April, 2018.

Members of the Royal Family who will be in attendance include 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.

During the Ceremony, Her Majesty will give a speech and declare CHOGM formally open. The Prince of Wales will give words of welcome to guests who will include 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 will be welcomed to Buckingham Palace by a Guard of Honour, a Regimental Band, a Corps of Drums and Commonwealth flag bearers.

The Ceremony will reflect the overall CHOGM theme of ‘Towards a Common Future’ with a focus on youth. The National Anthem will be performed by Emeli Sande, a British singer songwriter of Zambian heritage. The compere will be Reeta Chakrabarti. Stories of the Commonwealth will be told by PJ Cole, a Queen’s Young Leader and Krystle Reid, Commonwealth Young Person of the Year. The ceremony will feature cultural performances to celebrate talent across the regions of the Commonwealth. Speeches will be given by the UK Prime Minister, the Commonwealth Secretary-General and the Prime Minister of Malta, as the outgoing Commonwealth Chair-in-Office.

In keeping with the CHOGM tradition, the Ceremony will conclude with the family photograph. A 53 gun salute will be fired by King’s Troop in Green Park to ceremonially mark the opening of CHOGM, and the 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 will process 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 military procession will be followed by a music and dance performance which will take place at the junction at Marlborough Road, giving members of the public an opportunity to celebrate the Commonwealth. The cultural performance will be led by Kinetika Bloco, a youth charity performance group which is based at the Southbank Centre.

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