Leaders approve Prince Charles to succeed Queen as Commonwealth head

Dominic Lipinski-WPA Pool  Getty Images

Dominic Lipinski-WPA Pool Getty Images

Commonwealth leaders said in a statement: "We recognise the role of the Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples".

She had expressed her "sincere wish" in her opening address for CHOGM on Thursday, that her son and heir, Prince Charles, step into her shoes, and a general consensus had built up around the 69-year-old royal.

The position of Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, held by the government leader of the CHOGM host country, would be transferred at the summit from the Prime Minister of Malta to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who would hold the post until the 26th CHOGM expected in 2020.

"I sincerely wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for the future generations and decide that someday the Prince of Wales will continue the important work started by my father in 1949", said the Queen.

Commonwealth leaders agreed on Friday that Prince Charles should become the next head of the group, just as Queen Elizabeth II requested.

Many members of the Royal Family joined the gathering before the arrival of The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, accompanied by the Prince of Wales.

"Here at Buckingham Palace, in 1949, my father met the heads of government when they ratified the London Declaration, which created the Commonwealth as we know it today".

Despite her age, the Queen still regularly carries out official engagements although her husband Prince Philip, who spent 10 days in hospital this month for a hip replacement, retired from public life past year.

"For my part, the Commonwealth has been a fundamental feature of my life for as long as I can remember", he said.

The Commonwealth is a community of 53 countries - mostly former British colonies - with a combined population of about 2.4 billion.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government will meet in retreat for two days to discuss matters relating to the theme: "Towards a Common future".

She described the Commonwealth as one of the world's great convening powers, a global association of volunteers who believe in the tangible benefit that flows from the exchanging of ideas and experiences and respecting each other's point of view.

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