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The end of an era? The Queen hosts Commonwealth leaders for what is expected to be the final time

The Queen hosted the leaders of the Commonwealth for dinner at Buckingham Palace on Thursday evening – the final time she is expected to do so.

World leaders from 53 member states of the Commonwealth joined The Royal Family at the banquet as the dignitaries paid tribute to The Queen.

It is thought that this is the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that Her Majesty will preside over. She is not expected to attend the next summit held in Malaysia in 2020.

Those at the event described the dinner as having a distinct feeling to it.

The Daily Mail‘s Royal Correspondent, Rebecca English, tweeted: “I have to say, this Commonwealth dinner tonight really felt like the end of an era and brought a lump to several people’s throats (mine included).”

The President of Ghana also mentioned that The Queen would be significantly decreasing the number of duties she undertakes as Head of the Commonwealth during the dinner.

The President made a toast to Her Majesty, saying: “We’re led 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 our proceedings.

“It is my fervent hope that the deep love she has held for this association will continue to light the way for all of us.”

Politicians from around the world attended the dinner at Buckingham Palace, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and the British Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Most of The Queen’s family were also present, including her children, grandchildren and cousins.

The Prince of Wales was also in attendance. It is believed that the world leaders will come to a decision on Friday over whether he succeeds his mother as Head of the Commonwealth.

On Thursday morning, the 91-year-old Monarch 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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