Prince Charles to become next head of Commonwealth

While the role is not hereditary, the Queen said it was her 'sincere wish' to see Prince Charles succeed her in the role

(Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

Commonwealth leaders have agreed that the Prince of Wales will become the next head of the organisation after the Queen.

The Queen had said it was her "sincere wish" that Prince Charles would succeed her in the role "one day".

The role is not hereditary, but the Queen, who turns 92 on Saturday, used the ongoing Commonwealth heads of government (Chogm) gathering in London to discuss the issue during a meeting.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau had earlier given their backing to Prince Charles.

Addressing what is most likely her last Chogm summit – she no longer flies long distances and it is not due to return to the UK for some years – the monarch said: “It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations, and will decide that one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949.”

The Queen has been head of the Commonwealth since coming to the throne in 1952.

Earlier on Friday, the foreign minister of Vanuatu, Ralph Regenvanu, supported Charles, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that “we see it almost naturally that it should be the British royal family because it is the Commonwealth after all”.

The meeting during a two-day summit involved 46 heads of Commonwealth governments and foreign ministers from the remaining seven countries.

The Chogm summit was due to discuss subjects including efforts to combat marine plastics, cyber security and trade.

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