Prince Charles approved to lead Commonwealth


Sitting in a large room at Windsor Castle, less than 24 hours after they had dinner with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, 53 world leaders bowed to the inevitable yesterday and agreed that the Prince of Wales would be the head of the Commonwealth after his mother.

The head role is non-hereditary so is not automatically passed on when the Queen dies, with some suggestions it might rotate among the 53 leaders.

At 92, she has cut down on long-haul travels.

"We know the queen is very proper and discreet and doesn't push her own political ideas, but that's not true with Prince Charles", Murphy said.

"We will miss her inspiring presence, her calm, her steadiness and, above all, her great love and belief in the higher objective of this Commonwealth of nations in its capacity to be a force for Good".

The next Head if the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, the leaders said in their official communique at the end of the CHOGM retreat.

Other issues under discussion in London have included trade between the countries with Mrs May saying the leaders agreed to "fight protectionism" to expand intra-Commonwealth trade to $2 trillion by 2030.

The survival of the Commonwealth owes much to the commitment of the queen, who has visited nearly every member country - often multiple times - over her 66-year-reign.

Earlier, Prince Charles told attendees the modern Commonwealth had a "vital role to play", adding: "I pray that this [meeting] will not only revitalise the bonds between our countries, but will also give the Commonwealth a renewed relevance to all its citizens". It is the combination of its member countries, the Commonwealth Secretariat, its associated organisations, and its many people to people networks, with Her Majesty The Queen as its Head.

It has been confirmed that The Prince of Wales will take over from the Queen as the next head of the Commonwealth.

The next summit is due to be held in Malaysia in 2020.

Given its highly diverse membership, if agreements can be reached within the Commonwealth, they can likely achieve wider support. The U.K. also wants to lay the groundwork for new trade deals with Commonwealth nations after Britain leaves the European Union next year.

"By doing so, the Commonwealth can be a cornerstone for the lives of future generations, just as it has been for so many of us", he said.

Still, some say the Commonwealth could present a platform for British diplomatic and cultural clout after it leaves the EU.

But the summit was overshadowed by an uproar over the treatment by United Kingdom immigration authorities of some long-term British residents from the Caribbean.

May and other government ministers have apologised repeatedly after it emerged that some people who settled in the United Kingdom in the decades after the second world war had recently been refused medical care or threatened with deportation because they could not produce paperwork to show their right to reside in Britain.