On Wednesday night, the Queen hosted a poignant dinner for the leaders of the 53 Commonwealth countries she heads up.
Presidents and heads of state from around the globe, including Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, gathered at Buckingham Palace for the special event.
And it was here that it was confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II would be “winding down” her official duties as Commonwealth leader in the months and years to come. The news comes as it is announced that Prince Charles will be taking over from the monarch, as the head of the Commonwealth.
With reporters claiming that the dinner felt like something of a farewell, the President of Ghana paid a touching tribute to the monarch, during the emotional evening.
In his toast to the royal, he revealed that she will no longer “automatically” attend Commonwealth proceedings – and hinted that the night’s dinner might be her last official meeting.
According to the Daily Mail‘s Rebecca English, he said, “We’re led to to understand that she’ll be winding down her duties as Head of the Commonwealth.
“This toast thus takes on an added significance, for it falls upon me to express the depth of our collective regret that she will no longer automatically be present at proceedings. The organisation will undoubtedly be all the poorer for it.
“We will miss her inspiring presence, her calm, her steadiness and, above all, her great love and belief in the higher purpose of this Commonwealth of nations in its capacity to be a force for Good.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo continued, “It is my fervent hope that the deep love she has shown for this association will continue to light the way for all of us. he will always be an icon of the Commonwealth.”
Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles and Theresa May also attended the formal dinner, in support of the monarch.
As mentioned, the emotional evening comes as it is announced that Prince Charles will indeed take over from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as the head of the Commonwealth.
Leaders within the Commonwealth approved the decision, following a meeting on Friday morning.
The news had been expected by many, after the Queen made a speech early in the week revealing that it was her “sincere wish” that her soon take over.
Speaking at the formal opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, she recognised the the Commonwealth’s rich history within her family.
She said, “It remains a great pleasure and honour to serve you as Head of the Commonwealth and to observe, with pride and satisfaction, that this is a flourishing network.
“It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations, and will decide that one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949.”