The Mail on Sunday reports today that Her Majesty The Queen has been involved in trying to make the role of Head of the Commonwealth, a collection of 54 countries (largely former states of the British Empire), hereditary to her and her descendants.
Her Majesty The Queen is currently the Head of the Commonwealth, though unless rules are changed, the Prince of Wales may not succeed to that office.
Currently as the role stands, the Commonwealth countries are set to choose the successor to Her Majesty after she dies and they’re not limited to choosing the Prince of Wales.
The Commonwealth is separate to the Commonwealth Realms, which are the 16 countries that share a Monarch with the United Kingdom – in the Commonwealth Realms, The Queen’s successor (Prince Charles) will accede to the throne in the same way as he will in the United Kingdom.
According to the article in the Mail on Sunday, The Queen seeks to change the status quo by making the role of Head of the Commonwealth have the same succession rules as the Commonwealth Realms, to ensure that the Commonwealth and the British Monarchy remain linked.
As it stands, The Prince of Wales won’t automatically become Head of the Commonwealth.
The issue is expected to be raised at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Sri Lanka in November, which His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is to attend instead of Her Majesty. Buckingham Palace says this is because they’re trying to reduce the amount of long-haul travel The Queen does.
This is also a sign that Prince Charles is stepping up his own involvement in the affairs of Monarchy even more for when he eventually becomes King of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms.
photo credit: Commonwealth Secretariat & Mikepaws via photopin cc
This was a ridiculous article in the Daily Mail. The Queen does not rule the Commonwealth as its Head, she is a ceremonial figurehead, whilst the Secretary General runs it. She was however sort of elected by the heads of government of the Commonwealth when she assumed the role, at the suggestion of the Indian Prime Minister. Prince Charles will not automatically get the role, and there has been some agitation for it to be shared in rotation by all the heads of state of commonwealth countries, but, when that is looked into it would mean that some not so good people would have their turn e.g. the President of Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka. It has always seemed likely that Prince Charles would win the election but, royalty does not like controversy, so at best the Queen is trying to get the matter settled now to avoid it. She is not trying to make it hereditary, it could not be, the Commonwealth is not British any more, it is bigger and wider than that. The article says that Cameron would lead on this, that would be a mistake, better to get Canada or another of the Queen’s realms to.
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