President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday met with His Royal Majesty, King Charles III in Buckingham Palace.
While the reason for the meeting was not clear, both leaders expectedly discussed bilateral relations and how the United Kingdom can help Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
Buhari is in the UK for a medical checkup. He left on October 31st.
Before Wednesday’s meeting, both leaders communicated with each other.
King Charles III had written to the Nigerian president, sympathising with him over the devastating floods that have killed hundreds and displaced millions in the West African nation.
“Your Excellency, Dear Mr President,” the monarch began in a letter to Buhari. “I wanted you to know how deeply saddened both my wife and I are to hear of the many people who have lost their loved ones and whose lives have been so dreadfully affected as a consequence of the devastating floods across Nigeria.
“We remember with the greatest affection our visits to Nigeria and the kindness of the people we met.”
Here is his statement, pre-recorded in the Blue Drawing Room in Buckingham Palace during the afternoon and broadcast at 6:00 pm (1700 GMT) on UK television:
“I speak to you today with feelings of profound sorrow. Throughout her life, Her Majesty the Queen — my beloved Mother — was an inspiration and example to me and to all my family, and we owe her the most heartfelt debt any family can owe to their mother; for her love, affection, guidance, understanding, and example.
“Queen Elizabeth’s was a life well lived, a promise with destiny kept, and she is mourned most deeply in her passing. That promise of lifelong service I renew to you all today.
“Alongside the personal grief that all my family is feeling, we also share with so many of you in the United Kingdom, in all the countries where the queen was head of state, in the Commonwealth, and across the world, a deep sense of gratitude for the more than 70 years in which my mother, as queen, served the people of so many nations.
“In 1947, on her 21st birthday, she pledged in a broadcast from Cape Town to the Commonwealth to devote her life, whether it be short or long, to the service of her peoples.
“That was more than a promise: it was a profound personal commitment which defined her whole life. She made sacrifices for duty.
“Her dedication and devotion as sovereign never wavered, through times of change and progress, through times of joy and celebration, and through times of sadness and loss.
“In her life of service, we saw that abiding love of tradition, together with that fearless embrace of progress, which make us great as nations. The affection, admiration, and respect she inspired became the hallmark of her reign.
“And, as every member of my family can testify, she combined these qualities with warmth, humour, and an unerring ability always to see the best in people.
“I pay tribute to my mother’s memory and I honour her life of service. I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you and I share that sense of loss, beyond measure, with you all.
“When the queen came to the throne, Britain and the world were still coping with the privations and aftermath of the Second World War, and still living by the conventions of earlier times.
“In the course of the last 70 years, we have seen our society become one of many cultures and many faiths.
“The institutions of the State have changed in turn. But, through all changes and challenges, our nation and the wider family of Realms — of whose talents, traditions and achievements I am so inexpressibly proud — have prospered and flourished. Our values have remained and must remain, constant.
“The role and the duties of monarchy also remain, as does the Sovereign’s particular relationship and responsibility towards the Church of England — the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted.
“In that faith, and the values it inspires, I have been brought up to cherish a sense of duty to others, and to hold in the greatest respect the precious traditions, freedoms and responsibilities of our unique history and our system of parliamentary government.
“As the queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation.
“And wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the Realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavour to serve you with loyalty, respect and love, as I have throughout my life.
“My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities.
“It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply. But I know this important work will go on in the trusted hands of others.
“This is also a time of change for my family. I count on the loving help of my darling wife, Camilla.
“In recognition of her own loyal public service since our marriage 17 years ago, she becomes my Queen Consort.
“I know she will bring to the demands of her new role the steadfast devotion to duty on which I have come to rely so much.
“As my heir, William now assumes the Scottish titles which have meant so much to me.
“He succeeds me as Duke of Cornwall and takes on the responsibilities for the Duchy of Cornwall which I have undertaken for more than five decades.
“Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty.
“With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.
“I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.
“In a little over a week’s time, we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest.
“In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example.
“On behalf of all my family, I can only offer the most sincere and heartfelt thanks for your condolences and support.
“They mean more to me than I can ever possibly express.
“And to my darling Mama, as you begin your last great journey to join my dear late Papa, I want simply to say this: thank you.
“Thank you for your love and devotion to our family and to the family of nations you have served so diligently all these years.
November 14, 1948: His Royal Highness Prince Charles Philip Arthur George of Edinburgh is born in Buckingham Palace, second in line to the throne.
December 15, 1948: Charles is christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury in the palace’s Music Room.
February 6, 1952: Death of Charles’s grandfather, King George VI, and ascent of Queen Elizabeth II. As the sovereign’s eldest son, Charles, aged just three, becomes heir to the throne.
June 2, 1953: Charles becomes the first heir to the throne to attend his mother’s coronation.
July 26, 1958: He becomes the 21st Prince of Wales, aged nine.
April 1962: Charles starts at Gordonstoun, a boarding school in northeast Scotland, which his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, attended.
Gown and crown
1967: Charles leaves Gordonstoun and goes to Trinity College at Cambridge University to study archeology and anthropology, then history.
July 1, 1969: He is invested as Prince of Wales in a televised ceremony at Caernarfon Castle, after spending a term at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, learning Welsh.
1970: Charles graduates from university — the first heir to the throne to do so.
In the navy
September 1971: The future king joins the Royal Navy, a path also taken by his father. Serves on the guided missile destroyer HMS Norfolk and two frigates.
1974: Already a trained jet pilot, he qualifies as a helicopter pilot and joins an air squadron operating from the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes.
1976: Charles commands the coastal minehunter HMS Bronington before leaving the Royal Navy. He uses his navy severance pay of £7,400 to set up The Prince’s Trust charity.
Loss, love and children
August 27, 1979: Charles’s great-uncle and closest confidant Lord Louis Mountbatten is assassinated by the Irish Republican Army.
July 29, 1981: The prince marries Lady Diana Spencer at London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in a fairy-tale wedding watched by an estimated 750 million people worldwide. She becomes Princess of Wales.
June 21, 1982: The couple’s first son, Prince William, is born, ensuring the succession. Prince Harry follows on September 15, 1984.
March 10, 1988: Charles escapes uninjured in an avalanche while skiing in Klosters, Switzerland, but one of his friends is killed and another injured.
Divorce and tragedy
December 9, 1992: Charles and Diana announce their separation. The royal family is rocked by revelations about the couple’s marriage and infidelities. They formally divorce on August 28, 1996.
August 31, 1997: Diana, her boyfriend Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul are killed in a high-speed car crash in Paris as they try to flee paparazzi photographers.
Charles repatriates her body and insists she be granted full royal honours in death.
September 6, 1997: Charles accompanies William, Harry and their uncle, Charles Spencer, on foot behind her coffin to the funeral.
Camilla and grandchildren
April 9, 2005: Charles marries his longtime mistress Camilla Parker Bowles at Windsor Guildhall in a civil ceremony. She becomes the Duchess of Cornwall.
April 29, 2011: William marries Kate Middleton, a commoner, at Westminster Abbey.
July 22, 2013: Charles becomes a grandfather after the birth of William and Kate’s son, Prince George. Princess Charlotte follows in 2015, then Prince Louis, in 2018.
May 19, 2018: Charles walks Meghan Markle down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, as she marries his youngest son, Prince Harry.
November 14: Charles turns 70.
May 6, 2019: Charles becomes a grandfather again, as Meghan gives birth to Archie. Lilibet Diana follows in 2021.
March 7, 2021: Harry hits out at his father in a television interview from the United States, where he moved after quitting royal life in 2020.
He accuses Charles of being suffocated by tradition and of cutting him off financially after the move, although royal officials later maintain he “allocated a substantial sum” to the couple to help them with the transition.
November 30, 2021: Charles attends a ceremony in Barbados as the Caribbean islandbecomes a republic.
June 2022: Charles’ role as future monarch becomes increasingly prominent as he deputises for the ailing queen at several of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
September 8 2022: The queen dies in Balmoral, Scotland at the age of 96. Charles ascends to the throne, becoming King Charles III, and his wife Camilla is named queen consort.
Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, accepted a £1 million ($1.19 million, 1.21 million euro) donation to his charitable trust from the family of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, The Sunday Times reported.
Although there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the Saudi family members, the revelation increases scrutiny on the 73-year-old prince’s charity organisations, which have been rocked by allegations of criminal wrongdoing.
Several of his advisers urged Charles not to take the donation from family patriarch Bakr bin Laden and his brother Shafiq — half-brothers of terror leader Osama — according to sources cited by the paper.
Charles, 73, agreed to the donation to the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund (PWCF) when he met with Bakr, 76, at Clarence House in London in 2013, despite objections of advisers from the trust and his office, the paper reported.
Ian Cheshire, chairman of PWCF, said the donation was agreed by the five trustees at the time.
British police in February launched an investigation into another of Charles’s charitable foundations over claims of a cash-for-honours scandal involving a Saudi businessman.
The head of The Prince’s Foundation resigned last year after an internal investigation into the allegations.
Michael Fawcett, chief executive of the foundation, had initially agreed to suspend his duties following newspaper revelations about his links to a Saudi national.
The man, tycoon Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, had donated large sums to restoration projects of particular interest to Charles.
Fawcett, a former valet to the Prince of Wales who has been close to Queen Elizabeth II’s heir for decades, is alleged to have coordinated efforts to grant a royal honour and even UK citizenship to Mahfouz.
Mahfouz reportedly denies any wrongdoing.
The Charities Commission, which registers and oversees charities in England and Wales, said in November it had opened a formal probe into donations received by Mahfouz’s charitable trust which were intended for the prince’s foundation.
The Prince’s Foundation, set up in 1986, is not regulated by the Charities Commission but is registered with the Scottish Charity Regulator.
The Scottish body in September launched its own probe into reports that the foundation accepted cash from a Russian banker previously convicted of money laundering.
Housing skulls, bone fragments, and shreds of clothing, the memorial is a testimony to the horrors of the genocide and a customary stop for foreign dignitaries visiting Rwanda.
Charles and Camilla also toured the memorial museum where they viewed photographs of the victims and their possessions and heard personal accounts of the killings.
The royal couple touched down late Tuesday in Rwanda where the Prince of Wales is representing his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, at a Commonwealth summit this week.
The leaders of many Commonwealth nations are expected in Kigali in the coming days for the meeting of the 54-member club of mainly former British colonies.
Rwanda, a former German and Belgian colony, joined the Commonwealth in 2009 and has in recent years moved closer to the English-speaking world.
Charles and Camilla also met President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame at the Rwandan leader’s official residence on Wednesday.
The royals and their hosts smiled for photographs flanked by the flags of their respective countries before commencing a private meeting.
Ahead of the Commonwealth summit, Charles had reportedly criticised a migrant resettlement deal hatched between Kagame and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as “appalling”, setting the scene for an awkward encounter in Kigali.
The UK government said Wednesday it would introduce legislation allowing it to ignore certain European Court of Human Rights decisions after a judge in Strasbourg blocked flights removing asylum seekers to Rwanda.
Inaugurated in 2004 during the 10th anniversary of the killings, the Kigali Genocide Memorial has an education centre, a garden, library, and a 1,200-seat amphitheatre that hosts workshops, plays, and films.
It contains three permanent exhibitions and clubs, machetes, arrows and other tools used in the massacres are on display.
The victims’ remains are laid out in three main rows and more have been buried as new graves are uncovered around the country.
At the burial ground, there is a Wall of Names dedicated to victims of the genocide.
Prince Charles will replace his 96-year-old mother Queen Elizabeth II at Tuesday’s ceremonial opening of the UK parliament, Buckingham Palace said Monday, citing the monarch’s ongoing mobility issues.
“The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament,” the palace said in a statement on the eve of the pomp-filled event.
“At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read the Queen’s Speech on Her Majesty’s behalf,” it added, referring to her eldest son and heir to the throne, Charles.
The palace added that the Queen’s eldest grandson, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and next in the line of succession, would also attend the elaborate State Opening of Parliament ceremony.
As head of state, the Queen usually presides over the annual event, reading out her government’s legislative programme in an address from a gilded throne in the House of Lords.
But Buckingham Palace had not confirmed her attendance in the run-up to this year’s spectacle, which culminates in the so-called Queen’s Speech at around 11:30 am (1030 GMT) on Tuesday.
The monarch has rarely been seen in public since spending an unscheduled night in the hospital in October last year and has complained of difficulties standing and working, as well as a bout of Covid.
She has missed only two state openings during her record-breaking 70-year reign, in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and then Prince Edward.
She has cut back on numerous public appearances in recent months, and last week the palace announced she will not attend this summer’s royal garden parties, usually a regular feature in her yearly diary.
The monarch recently returned to Windsor Castle after a week-long break on her Sandringham estate in Norfolk, eastern England, where she marked her 96th birthday in private on April 21.
A royal tradition since the 18th century has also seen the monarch have a second, official birthday, typically celebrated in warmer weather in June.
This year’s official birthday coincides with her Platinum Jubilee, and four days of public events from June 2 to 5 to mark her record-breaking 70th year on the throne.
British police said on Wednesday that they had launched an investigation into Prince Charles’s charitable foundation over claims of a cash-for-honours scandal.
“The decision follows an assessment of a September 2021 letter. This related to media reporting alleging offers of help were made to secure honours and citizenship for a Saudi national,” Scotland Yard said in a statement.
Prince Charles on Monday urged the public to mark his mother’s 70th year as queen by planting trees around Britain, as the government unveiled plans to boost woodland habitats to combat climate change.
The prince said he was “delighted to announce this unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s platinum jubilee in 2022”.
The 72-year-old heir to the throne urged everyone in the country to join him and “plant a tree for the jubilee — in other words a tree-bilee” from October, when planting begins.
The plan comes as the government, which has set a target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, plans to treble tree planting by the end of the current parliament in May 2024.
Queen Elizabeth II, 95, acceded to the throne in 1952 after the death of her father George VI, and was crowned the following year.
Charles was shown in a video adding the final soil to an oak tree sapling planted in a field as his mother stood watching him.
The tree was planted in the grounds of Windsor Castle, west of London, in March. Symbolically it is a Verdun Oak, trees grown from acorns from the World War I battlefield.
The Queen during her reign has officially planted more than 1,500 trees, said Charles, who has long been known for interest in environmental causes, including organic farming.
“Planting a tree is a statement of hope and faith in the future,” he added.
The project — called The Queen’s Green Canopy — aims for people to plant sustainable native trees that are resistant to diseases.
It will also highlight 70 irreplaceable ancient woodlands and train young people to plant and manage trees.
From June, schools and community groups can apply for 3 million free saplings from the Woodland Trust conservation charity.
In 1986 he gave an interview saying he talked to plants, prompting much mockery at the time.
Britain in November hosts the UN summit on climate change, COP26, and has called for greater commitments to tackle global warming.
Environment Secretary George Eustice will this week lay out plans to plant around 7,000 hectares (17,000 acres) of woodland per year for the next three years.
Britain’s Prince Charles visited his father Philip in hospital on Saturday as the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II receives precautionary treatment after falling ill this week.
Charles, the heir to the throne, was seen entering the rear entrance of the King Edward VII hospital in central London, wearing a face mask. He left after about 30 minutes.
Prince Philip, who turns 100 on June 10, was admitted on Tuesday. Sources say his admission was not coronavirus-related, and that he remains in good spirits.
The duke of Edinburgh, as he is formally known, is expected to remain in hospital into next week for observation and rest.
He was able to walk into the hospital unaided after arriving by private transport rather than ambulance, a source said at the time.
Both Philip and the queen received first doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in January.
Charles visited the hospital the day after Buckingham Palace confirmed that his younger son Prince Harry and Harry’s American wife Meghan had permanently quit as working royals.
Queen Elizabeth ordered the duke and duchess of Sussex to relinquish their honorary titles and patronages, a year after they stepped back from frontline duties. They now live in California.
Charles was the first member of the royal family to visit Philip this week, but earlier Saturday one young fan brought a hand-drawn get-well card to the hospital.
“When I was little I used to have chemotherapy for five years and I felt sad for Philip, so I wrote this letter so he can feel better,” 10-year-old Londoner Twanna Saleh told reporters.
“My sister helped me to draw the heart and the flower.”
Philip was also honoured Saturday as Princess Eugenie, daughter of his second son Prince Andrew, announced the names of her baby boy born on February 9.
Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank named their son August Philip Hawke Brooksbank — Philip in honour of the queen’s consort.
Prince Andrew turned 61 on Friday, and Eugenie said: “On his grandfather’s birthday weekend, thinking of my grandfather (Philip), we are introducing our little boy.”
The baby is Queen Elizabeth and Philip’s ninth great-grandchild.
Like Harry, Andrew has also stepped back from frontline royal duties, but not out of choice. In 2019, he caused outrage by defending his friendship with the late US financier and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son and heir Prince Charles, who contracted Covid-19 last year, has received a first vaccine dose, his office said on Wednesday.
The 72-year-old Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, 73, both received the shot as health authorities urged those over the age of 70 to get a jab.
Britain, which was the first Western nation to roll out Covid jabs in the general population, is banking on its biggest ever vaccination programme as a way out of a contagion that has killed more than 113,000 people.
Some 12.5 million people have so far been inoculated using either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca shots.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has set a target to vaccinate the most vulnerable and at-risk groups by February 15.