Prince Charles to Hail Commonwealth’s Diversity as ‘Strength’

Prince Charles to Prince Charles is expected to tell Commonwealth leaders that their diversity is a “strength” at the start of a global summit in Rwanda today. 

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will convene in Kigali, with the Prince of Wales representing the Queen. He will tell leaders that their differences can be used to “speak up for the values that bind us.”

The prince will also meet with Boris Johnson, who has been reported to have criticised the UK’s Rwanda asylum seeker plan. According to reports, the heir to the throne called the plan “appalling,” but a Clarence House spokesperson said the “prince is politically neutral.”

Downing Street has stated that the UK’s Rwanda asylum policy is “unlikely” to be discussed when the two meet. Mr Johnson said that if the scheme is brought up, he will defend it, but his spokesperson has stated that it will not be on his mind.

The prime minister, who visited Rwanda with his wife Carrie Johnson, stated that “people should keep an open mind about the policy.”

On Friday, Prince Charles will deliver the opening address at the Commonwealth Leaders Summit, where Commonwealth leaders will discuss trade, health, and the environment.

He is expected to say: “In the diversity of the 2.6 billion people on whose behalf you speak, comes great strength, which you can use, for instance, to speak up for the values which bind us, to invest in a rapid transition to a sustainable future and to create opportunities for our young people.”

The Commonwealth leaders’ summit was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and has not been held in four years.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will meet Rwandan President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeanette Kagame, Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Scotland, and Mr Johnson and his wife prior to the summit.

The Commonwealth, of which the Queen is the head, is made up of 54 countries.

The summit’s agenda includes three topics: sustainability, youth, and the Commonwealth’s history and values. Following the opening ceremony, leaders and representatives from the majority of member countries will meet behind closed doors for two days.

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