Queen arrives in Perth for Commonwealth summit

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrived in Perth Wednesday to open a summit of Commonwealth leaders, where succession to the British throne will be discussed.

The monarch will officially open the 54-nation Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on Friday to conclude a 10-day tour of her antipodean realm where she has received rapturous welcomes in Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne.

Commonwealth leaders will hold three days of talks focused on reforming an organisation composed mainly of former British colonies as it struggles to remain relevant after 62 years.

Another key issue will be succession to the throne, a subject that has taken on new momentum since the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in April.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has written to the leaders of the 15 other Commonwealth nations where the queen is head of state to propose allowing first-born daughters and heirs who marry Catholics to inherit the throne.

Earlier, the queen spent the day in Melbourne where she was greeted by adoring crowds as she opened the revamped Royal Children's Hospital and rode a tram.

As well as opening CHOGM the queen and Prince Philip will visit an Aboriginal college while in Perth and attend the Big Aussie Barbecue charity event.

© 2011 AFP

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