The Queen has for the first time publicly expressed that she wishes for her son, the Prince of Wales, to become the next head of the Commonwealth.
Addressing the leaders of the Commonwealth at Buckingham Palace on Thursday morning, the 91-year-old monarch said that ensuring her son succeeded her as head would provide stability for the future.
She 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.
“By continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities, I believe we will secure a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world for those who follow us: a world where the Commonwealth’s generosity of spirit can bring its gentle touch of healing and hope to all.”
The issue over whether Prince Charles will become the next leader of the Commonwealth is expected to be discussed on Friday at Windsor Castle as world leaders meet for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
While Prince Charles will become Head of State to 16 out of the 53 Commonwealth Nations, he will not automatically be head of the Commonwealth.
According to the Commonwealth’s guidance on governance “Queen Elizabeth II is Head of the Commonwealth. There is no maximum fixed term for the Head of The Commonwealth. The choice of successive Heads will be made collectively by Commonwealth leaders.”
The Commonwealth Secretariat has denied that a decision will take place during CHOGM and only when the position is vacant.
It has been suggested by major politicians and key players that Prince Charles is “unfit” for the role and an elected leader should be nominated when Queen Elizabeth dies.