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The death of Queen Elizabeth II and the formal proclamation of King Charles III are great opportunities for the Commonwealth to come together.
This was the comment of a former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, who spoke on Saturday, hours after Charles III was formally proclaimed king at a pomp-filled ceremony.
“The Commonwealth is very important to King Charles. In 2018 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London, there was a decision that he would become the Head of the Commonwealth upon the passing of his mother,” Arkwright told Channels Television.
“That is again another smooth transition when it comes to his role as the Head of the Commonwealth. But as the Queen herself used to describe the Commonwealth as a family, I do think that this is a moment for the whole family to come together.
“You are right, there have been strains within the Commonwealth, but I think, at the recent meeting in Kigali, which of course was a meeting held in Africa, we welcomed two new members from Africa. I think the Commonwealth is in good hands.”
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According to him, the recent developments in the UK offer chances to further strengthen the values of the Commonwealth, maintaining that “it is a good moment to reflect” despite the strain in the group.
“It is a moment to look forward and to see how we can build the Commonwealth family and to make it even stronger,” he added.
He admitted that this is a difficult moment for Britain but argued that there is a note of optimism for the country.
“We are facing some turbulent times in the UK both politically and economically. We got a winter ahead which I think will be very difficult for many people in the UK,” Arkwright said.
“But this is a moment when everybody can come together and it is a unifying moment and I think there is a note of hope and optimism about the family – if you like, not just the Royal Family but all of us as a family (the family of the Commonwealth) coming together to wish the new king well.”
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