Prince Charles to become next Commonwealth head

Lawrence Kim
April 21, 2018

The Commonwealth has confirmed that Prince Charles will be the next leader of the organisation of Britain and its former colonies once he succeeds his mother Queen Elizabeth II on the throne.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also gave his support to Prince Charles earlier this week.

Harry said: "In my new role, I will work to support the Queen, my father the Prince of Wales, and my brother William, all of whom know that young people are the answer to the challenges of today".

However, the position is not hereditary, and some people have suggested a non-royal leader would be more appropriate in the 21st century.

She said, "It is my honest 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".

Prince Charles is set to take over as the next head of Commonwealth, one day after Queen Elizabeth II made the request.

The role, now held by the Queen, is largely a symbolic one and carries no maximum fixed term. An alternative might have been to create a rotating presidency passed between the member countries.

May praised the monarch for being "the Commonwealth's most steadfast and fervent champion".

The Commonwealth covers an estimated 2.4bn people, but the role of head is largely symbolic and requires making visits to member states across six continents.

Protecting the world's oceans is high on the agenda at the Commonwealth meeting, alongside issues such as cybersecurity and trade.

The Commonwealth of Nations has been an institution since 1931, but it is not without its critics.

"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.

Lloyd Dorfman, chairman of the Prince's Trust and Prince's Trust International, welcomed the news that Charles is to become the next head of the Commonwealth.

Rwanda has been chosen to host the next summit in 2020.

British officials have been paying more attention to the Commonwealth since the United Kingdom voted in 2016 to leave the European Union.

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

The leaders of the Commonwealth countries then discussed whether they would accept Prince Charles as Commonwealth head behind closed doors at Buckingham Palace.

But the summit has been overshadowed by the embarrassing treatment of Caribbean migrants who came to Britain after World War Two to help rebuild the country, but have been caught up in a tightening of immigration rules.

The government says they accidentally fell afoul of new measures meant to prevent illegal immigration.

May said Friday that Britain would do "whatever it takes", including paying compensation, to make amends.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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