I would like to echo Baroness Scotland in welcoming you all to this Marlborough House on this historic occasion.
A special welcome to the new leaders who have taken office since we last met. Let me also single out President Ali Bongo of Gabon and President Faure Gnassingbé of Togo, the leaders of our two newest members.
His Majesty the King will join us in a few minutes. This will allow us to welcome him as a new Head of The Commonwealth ahead of tomorrow’s coronation ceremony.
At last year’s CHOGM in Kigali, we recognized Terra Carta – For Nature, People & Planet, which was created by His Majesty as the blueprint for public-private collaboration. This is a detailed framework which complements and enriches the work already underway within The Commonwealth.
We appreciate the King’s lifelong devotion to Commonwealth affairs just as we remember the role of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in giving the modern Commonwealth its shape and spirit.
We are very much looking forward to convening for the next CHOGM in 2024 in Samoa.
I wish to assure His Highness the Head of State of Samoa and his government of our full support as they prepare to host us.
I welcome you once again and now let us continue enjoying each other’s company.
Thank you very much.