Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday appealed to Commonwealth leaders to appoint her son, Prince Charles, to succeed her as their head, making her first direct intervention into a succession plan for the 53-member grouping.
The 91-year-old monarch, the Head of the Commonwealth, said it was her “sincere wish” that Prince Charles takes over “one day”, as she opened the two-day Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) here, also attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Edit: Modi in London
The post of Head of Commonwealth is not hereditary and will not pass automatically to the 69-year-old Prince of Wales on the Queen’s death.
The 53 leaders, gathered at Buckingham Palace, are to make a decision on the succession on Friday, the BBC quoted 10 Downing Street as saying.
In her opening speech, the Queen described the group as “growing stronger year by year” and the world’s “great convening powers”, which would benefit from the stability to be offered by the royal family. “By continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities, I believe we will secure a prosperous and more sustainable world for those who follow us,” she said.
Her intervention comes amid speculation over a successor to the monarch. Some experts have argued that it marks an opportunity for the organisation to distance itself from its colonial roots. Others, however, claim that it is the royal family that holds the grouping of former British colonies together.
The CHOGM in Britain will mark the last such summit to be hosted by the Queen, who has ruled out long-haul travel. There is reportedly no general consensus over the Prince of Wales as the next Head, with India yet to confirm its stand on the matter.
Meanwhile, Modi had a series of bilateral meetings, including discussions with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina and Seychelles President Danny Faure, on the sidelines of CHOGM. (PTI)