The Commonwealth of Nations, formerly known as the British Commonwealth, currently consists of 53 countries scattered across the globe. Canada and Australia are some of the most commonly-known commonwealth nations states that make up this entity. Nearly every continent is touched by this hand of British influence.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II currently holds the title of Head of the Commonwealth, a symbolic position that has remained with the Queen since her coronation in 1953. This role although has no active hand in the governing of each member nation.
The position was first comprised in 1949 and was first held by the Queen’s father King George VI. But a commonly overlooked fact is that the title of Head of the Commonwealth is not hereditary and is not necessarily a guaranteed position for the next in line to the throne of the United Kingdom.
With the inevitability of The Queen’s death in the future, a new concern has arisen from the leaders of the Commonwealth regarding who will assume the position as Head of the Commonwealth thereafter.
This group of high-ranking commonwealth leaders consisting of seven former ministers and senior officials is said to be beginning allegedly ‘secret’ meetings in order to discuss the future of the Commonwealth and its governing methods.
Although not apparent to be high priority in the discussions, one of the leading topics of interest is who will assume the title of Head of the Commonwealth upon The Queen’s death.
The Prince of Wales has represented his mother as at Commonwealth Heads of the Government meetings and is a clear choice to take over the position when Her Majesty has passed away. But talks continue over whether this will indeed take place.
The Queen has since praised her son’s work saying she could not “wish to have been better supported and represented in the Commonwealth than by the Prince of Wales, who continues to give so much to it with great distinction.”
There is currently no official process set in place for choosing a successor. The successor though would be selected at the time of the Queen’s death by each individual head governing member of the Commonwealth nations.
Queen Elizabeth II, who will turn 92 in April, is scheduled to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in May. Many believe that this will be the Queen’s final attendance at this meeting.