The Prince of Wales is expected to address the controversial issue of other Commonwealth countries severing ties with the royal family in a speech at the opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda.
At the formal ceremonial event in Kigali, which officially kicks off the CHOGM meetings at the leadership level, the prince is expected to say: “The Commonwealth contains countries that have had constitutional relations with my family, some that continue to do so, and in increasing degree those who have not had any.
“I would like to say clearly, as I have said before, that the constitutional arrangement of each Member, as a republic or monarchy, is solely a matter for each Member State to decide.
“The benefit of a long life gives me the experience that events like these can change, calmly and without anger.”
He is expected to talk about that experience and use it to emphasize the importance of Commonwealth family and said: “As I said in Barbados last November, we should never forget the things that do not change: the close and trusted partnership between Commonwealth members; our common values and common goals; and perhaps most importantly, the strong and lasting ties between the peoples of the Commonwealth that strengthen us all. “
This is the first cabinet meeting the Prince of Wales has attended since it was confirmed in 2018 that he will automatically follow the Queen as head of the Commonwealth.
In the past, the palace has said that the royal family believes that the people of a country should determine its future. This has been pointed out by both the Queen and Prince Charles in previous speeches.
But the prince’s remarks in front of representatives from all 54 Commonwealth countries are undoubtedly a response to growing debate that the royals are witnessing on overseas tours, most strikingly the calls to become a republic in Jamaica during the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tour.
Fifteen countries including the United Kingdom retain the Queen as head of state and are known as the Commonwealth kingdoms.
Later today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have a cup of tea with Prince Charles.
Yesterday, Mr Johnson said he would talk to the prince about the government’s new immigration policy of sending migrants to Rwanda, after claims that the prince has privately criticized the idea.
But late yesterday, both number 10 and the palace seemed to have talked about the meeting, where both sides indicated that migrant policy will hardly be discussed.
Instead, the topics on the agenda are sustainability, youth and the history and values of the Commonwealth and Charles’ passion for it.