LONDON (Reuters) – Prince Charles was confirmed at a meeting of government leaders on Friday as the successor to Queen Elizabeth as head of the Commonwealth.
"We recognize the role of the Queen in the defense of the Commonwealth and its peoples," said the leaders of the Commonwealth in a statement. "The next chief of the Commonwealth is His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales."
The Commonwealth developed from the British Empire in the mid-20th century, and the Queen has been her head since her reign began in 1952. Charles had long expected to take over the role, though it is not strictly hereditary ,
The Queen, celebrating her 92nd birthday on Saturday, had made clear her preference for Charles to become her successor.
"I sincerely hope that the Commonwealth will continue to provide stability and continuity to future generations and decide that the Prince of Wales will one day continue the important work that my father began in 1949," she said Charles himself had also given an informal pitch for the role this week and said in a speech: "The Commonwealth has been a fundamental feature of my life for as long as I remember can. "
This week London It is widely believed that the meeting is the last one the Queen will personally attend. The meetings take place only every two years, the next one takes place in Rwanda, and the monarch has not undertaken a long-haul flight for several years as she cuts her official duties.
The summit has visited thousands of delegates from Rwanda Around the globe they travel across London discussing issues such as the environment, women's rights and trade.
Britain has attempted to use the event as an opportunity to revive the loose alliance of countries with a population of 2.4 billion that see increased trade and global influence as they prepare to leave the European Union ,
(coverage by William James, additional coverage by Andrew MacAskill, editorial by Stephen Addison)