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Charles to Succeed Queen as Head of Commonwealth

Caroline Hallemann
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Town & Country

Prince Charles will succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth, as the head of the Commonwealth. The decision was made by Commonwealth leaders on at Windsor Castle on Friday.

The news comes just one day after Queen Elizabeth publicly backed her son Prince Charles as her successor.

While Prince Charles is the hereditary heir of 16 countries in the Commonwealth, he was not guaranteed to be chosen as the symbolic leader of the entire organization, a group which is made up of 53 countries, primarily former British colonies.

"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," the Queen said on Thursday.

Thursday evening, President of Ghana suggested that the Queen would be winding down her duties as leader of the Commonwealth, making her backing of Prince Charles as her successor all the more significant.

"We’re led to to understand that she’ll be winding down her duties as Head of the Commonwealth. This toast thus takes on an added significance, for it falls upon me to express the depth of our collective regret that she will no longer automatically be present at proceedings," he said at the banquet at Buckingham Palace, according to royal correspondent Rebecca English.

Commonwealth leaders discussed the issue of the Queen's succession on Friday in a private meeting, which reportedly covered a number of topics. According to the BBC, "the Queen presides over the meeting but does not take part in the leaders' discussions."

“On the retreat, the 53 leaders get to go away together with no agenda and just talk about all the things that they desire to talk about. That enables them to deal with some quite tricky, sensitive issues, but collectively, collegiately and as part of the family,” Patricia Scotland, the organization's secretary general Patricia Scotland told the Guardian.

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