LONDON, UK.- The Commonwealth has confirmed that Prince Charles will be the next leader of the organization of Britain and its former colonies once he succeeds his mother Queen Elizabeth II on the throne.
Commonwealth leaders meeting in London said in a statement that the next head of the organization "shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales."
The announcement had been expected since the queen said Thursday that she hoped her son and heir would lead the Commonwealth after her.
The queen has led the Commonwealth throughout her 66-year reign, but the largely symbolic position is not hereditary, and some have suggested a non-royal head would project a more modern image.
Yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II opened a summit of the 53-nation Commonwealth on Thursday, and backed her son Prince Charles to be the next leader of the association of Britain and its former colonies.
In a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, the queen said she hoped Charles would “carry on the important work” of leading the Commonwealth, a loose alliance of countries large and small that has struggled to carve out a firm place on the world stage.
For decades, the queen has been the driving force behind the Commonwealth but she had no designated successor as chief. Some have suggested that Charles should not take over the helm of the group, which takes in 2.4 billion people on five continents.
“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.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who hosted the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015, signaled that leaders were likely to confirm Charles as successor to his mother, who turns 92 tomorrow.