The Queen praises Prince Philip and their son Prince Charles in Malta

Chloe Best

The Queen took the opportunity to thank her husband Prince Philip and their son Prince Charles as she opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta on Friday. The monarch praised her husband the Duke of Edinburgh for his "boundless energy and commitment" throughout her time as Head of the Commonwealth, telling the audience she was "indebted" to him.

In what could be her last speech to the leaders of the Commonwealth, the Queen said: "For more than six decades of being Head of the Commonwealth, a responsibility I have cherished, I have had the fortune of the constancy of the Duke of Edinburgh."

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The Queen gave a speech to open the CHOGM in Malta

She added: "Prince Philip has bought boundless energy and commitment, for which I am indebted."

The 89-year-old also offered praise to her son the Prince of Wales, who was sitting in the audience alongside his wife the Duchess of Cornwall. Her Majesty said that she could not "wish to have been better supported and represented in the Commonwealth than by the Prince of Wales who continues to give so much to it with great distinction".

Charles has accompanied his mother on the three-day visit to Malta, and is also expected to stand in for the Queen on the next two Commonwealth gatherings as they will be too far away for her to attend.

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Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have joined the Queen in Malta

Every two years a meeting of the CHOGM is held at locations throughout the Commonwealth and this year Malta was chosen. The Queen usually attends, during which she has a series of private meetings with the Commonwealth countries' leaders.

A lavish reception and dinner are also held at which Her Majesty delivers a speech.

The trip will offer a walk down memory lane for the Queen, who lived on the island for a brief period before her reign, when she was still Princess Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip was stationed there as a serving Royal Navy officer.