Queen Elizabeth backed her son Prince Charles to be the next leader of the association of Britain and its former colonies.
This role is not hereditary. The Queen, on Friday, opened a summit of the 53-nation Commonwealth.
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In an event at Buckingham Palace, the queen said she hoped her son would “carry on the important work” of leading the Commonwealth. An alliance of all the large and small countries that have struggled to carve out a firm place on the world stage.
The exact words of Queen were:
“It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth should be able to continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations. One day, Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949”.
For many decades, the queen has been the driving force behind the Commonwealth. But she has not proclaimed anyone as chief or successor of the Commonwealth. Some have suggested that Charles should not take over the helm of the group, which takes in 2.4 billion people on five continents.
Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat, who hosted the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015, signalled that leaders were likely to confirm Charles as successor to his mother, who turns 92 on Saturday.
Some people even suggested that Queen can make this big announcement on her 92nd birthday.
Prince Charles found an able support from Muscat. Muscat said he was sure that Charles, a long-time advocate for environmental issues, “will provide solid leadership for our Commonwealth”.
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Commonwealth leaders might discuss who will succeed the queen when they meet later on Friday evening at Windsor Castle.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman, James Slack, said Britain supported Charles becoming leader of the group but added that “succession is a matter for the Commonwealth as a whole to determine.”
The survival of the Commonwealth owes much to the commitment of the queen. The Queen as a world leader has visited almost every member country — often multiple times — over her 66-year-reign.