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President of Ghana: “The Queen will always be an icon of the Commonwealth”

The President of Ghana paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on Thursday evening as he held a toast during dinner.

President Nana Akufo-Addo was dining with The Queen and 52 other world leaders when he delivered a short speech in which he called Her Majesty an “icon of the Commonwealth.”

In his address, the President said: “We’re led to understand that Her Majesty will 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.”

He added that The Queen, who turns 92-years-old on Saturday, has a “legendary ability to put you at ease” as well and also praised the “sheer joy with which she carries out her duties.”

He continued to say: “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.

“She will always be an icon of the Commonwealth.”

It is understood that this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is the final summit she will attend as Head of the Commonwealth.

She will not attend the next meeting in Malaysia in 2020 with Prince Charles likely going in her place.

On Thursday morning, Her Majesty publicly expressed that she wishes for her son to become the next head of the Commonwealth.

She said: “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. 

“By continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities, I believe we will secure a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world for those who follow us: a world where the Commonwealth’s generosity of spirit can bring its gentle touch of healing and hope to all.”

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