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Controversy as Queen lobbies for Prince Charles to succeed her as Head of the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth consists of 30% of the world’s population. It is made up of 53 member countries who are overseen by someone who acts as head of the body. Unlike inheriting the Monarchy and becoming head of state of 16 countries when his mother dies, it isn’t a guarantee that the Prince Charles will serve as head of the Commonwealth.

It has been revealed this week that The Queen has been working behind closed doors to ensure her son will succeed her in this position. In order for the Prince of Wales to become head of the Commonwealth, current leaders of those countries would need to provide their support to the first in line against any emerging candidates who would seek to challenge his right to serve.

In February, 2013, the Queen sent her most trusted senior adviser, Sir Christopher Geidt to Australia to meet with the then Republican Prime Minister, Julia Gillard to plead Her Majesty’s case. During the meeting that lasted a half hour, gillard was quite open to the idea, as she was the then Chair of the Commonwealth.

A month later while speaking to the Australian Parliament, she paid tribute to the “distinguished” service of the Queen as head of the Commonwealth, saying: “The institution of the head of the Commonwealth, standing as it does above individual governments, has been an asset of the Commonwealth since its foundation, and we need not be reticent about its future.

“For Australia’s part, I am sure the Queen’s successor as monarch will one day serve as head of the Commonwealth with the same distinction as her Majesty has done.”

Though Ms. Gillard found it ‘wise’ to support the Queen in her tribute, she also more recently drew attention to what some might consider a conflict of interest on the part of Sir Geidt and what he’s brought to the role of head of the Commonwealth as stated by the UK government in 2014 when he received two knighthoods.

Of this, Ms. Gillard said: “He has brought to this key role a new approach to constitutional matters, including at the time of the formation of the coalition government, the preparation for the transition to a change of reign and relations with the Commonwealth.”

Regarding Sir Geidt’s visit to Australia, Buckingham Palace explained there was nothing odd about the chair of the Commonwealth meeting with a private secretary. Sir Geidt merely wished to inform Ms. Gillard that the Prince of Wales would be attending in her stead the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit.

Not everyone believes the future of the Commonwealth should be decided in private. The director of the Institute of Commonwealth studies, Professor Philip Murphy finds Sir Geidt’s meeting with Ms. Gillard disconcerting.

He told the BBC: “There needs to be a proper and open debate about the future of the headship and about whether, in the 21st century, a British hereditary monarch would be a suitable symbol for the Commonwealth.”

What do you think should be the future of the Commonwealth? Let us know by commenting below:

  • Dinyar

    Ofcourse the reigning monarch of UK should be the Head of the Commonwealth.

  • Tim Secord

    The reigning Monarch should always be the head of the Commonwealth!

  • MPITTS1108

    To be above any national politics seems essential for the Head of the Commonwealth. Prince Charles would be the one.

  • Ailsa Pepperell

    I agree that the monarch should be head of Commonwealth.

  • Sunia

    If it wasn’t for the Monarchy, there would be no commonwealth. The Monarchs birthright is being the head of commonwealth.

  • Douglas Sutherland-Bruce

    ‘Sir Geidt’???? Good Lord, you’d think she’d get his name right as least.

  • shilesgo

    Her Majesty is quite right to suggest Prince Charles should become head of the Commonwealth when the time is right. I cannot think of anybody else with the birth right, more deserving of such on honour as Prince Charles

  • Richard Griffiths

    I totally agree that HRH The Prince of Wales should be Head of the Commonwealth when he succeeds His Mother as King

  • Kathleen Ames

    I hope he will succeed her. He is an ideal successor who loves and believes in the Commonwealth and it’s objectives

  • B. A. Abdulsalam

    Commonwealth should become even more stronger as UK has exited EU. The leadership should remain in Burkigham palace. British should take leadership and protect interest of its members globally. Particularly Africa. And with exit from E U British should dismember those members who were not original British colonies that join the commonwealth for security reason.

  • Paulyne

    I agree that Charles should be the leader of the Commonwealth
    But I do not think he should be King, I think that should be William and Kate should be King and Queen

    No way do I want to see Prince Charles wife be Queen as she would want to be if Charles is king.

    • Czech-Scot

      The wife of Prince Charles will not be queen. She will not even be “queen consort”. If she’s very lucky, she might be “Princess Something” — that would be bad enough.

  • CAROLYN kELLER

    I believe the HRH PRINCE CHARLES OF WALES SHOULD BE THE HEAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH. HE IS TO BE THE NEXT MONARCHY OF THE THRONE,SO HE SHOULD BE THE HEAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH.HE SUCCEEDS WHEN HIS MOTHER PASSES ON.That would make him the King!There should be no question about this.If it looks like it should not be going to be this way,HRH PRINCE WILLIAM SHOULD STEP UP AND TRY TO SUCCEED TO THE THRONE AND THE HEAD OF THE COMMONWEALTH!HE ALSO SHOULD BE KING.DON’T BE PLAYING WITH THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN ARRANGED FOR CENTURIES!!If it does not go this way,I can see that the fall of Great Britain would then happen!

  • Norma Barabich

    I agree with the Queen

  • Jackie Romagnano

    i totally agree that the Head of the Commonwealth should be Prince Charles when he becomes King

  • Nanci Marisa Vitola

    The future Monarch of Great Britain MUST be also the head of the Commonwealth as it has always been.

  • Trevor

    I totally agree with Prince Charles becoming the head of the Commonwealth after HRH the Queen. Most suitable.

  • Barry

    Lets look at the Word Common Wealth shall we? It was founded to support the UK in moments where it to have problems. How is it right that membors of the EU get right of passage and work over people from the Commonwealth? I beleive if the Commonwealth where to survive the UK needs to remember who her children are.

    • Czech-Scot

      Barry! Your message is difficult to understand. Please learn the difference between “where” and “were”. Misuse corrupts the meaning of your message.

  • Helen

    To be the next in line to the throne tends to be that person will be head of the Commonwealth. But in today’s society I would want to see William and Kate as the King and Queen. And I thought it was Royal law that if you have been divorced you cannot be a ruling monarch??

  • Jenny Dembovsky

    Absolutely not. Since when do adulterers have the morals to lead a country, never mind the common wealth…I can see the collapse of the monarchy is imminent if Charles is King. Totally disgusted.
    .

  • ♚Edward the Seventh♚

    The Commonwealth is a monarchical institution. The rebranded Empire.

  • Debbie Shaw-Burke

    No question Charles should take over and that’s that. If the Queen is the head, her successor follows suit. If the country is not pleased then the leave. I’m Canadian live in Canada and very happy while I am not a huge fan of HRH as King I will pledge my support when the time come s.

  • Marty

    Of course he should be King and naturally become the head of the Commonwealth

  • Ladyhawke

    I’m Australian and don’t doubt Charles will be the next Head of the Commonwealth. Amusing statement attributed to ex-PM, Julia Gillard. The woman is a fervant supporter of Australia becoming a Republic and is as “left” as left can be.

  • Peter

    The Commonwealth of Great Britain and Ireland. Mmm how about the president of Ireland.

  • Ahmed

    I think head of commonwealth should be elected among the member states like in the United Nations

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