The 53-member countries of the Commonwealth will on Friday ratify the wishes of the Queen of England for the Prince of Wales to succeed her as the next head of the Commonwealth.
She told Commonwealth leaders at Buckingham Palace on Thursday that “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.“By continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities, I believe we will secure a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world for those who follow us: a world where the Commonwealth’s generosity of spirit can bring its gentle touch of healing and hope to all.”
“Having on so many occasions been welcomed to opening ceremonies around the Commonwealth, it is a pleasure this time to welcome you to my own home
“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 – then comprising just eight nations.
Will Commonwealth leaders dare defy the Queen? Will the leaders undermine the Queen’s legacy?
Succession is a matter for the Commonwealth as a whole to determine, the Commonwealth secretariat responded on Thursday to enquiries about plans for the Queen’s successor.
” If any discussion did take place it would happen at the leaders’ retreat at Windsor on Friday. Decisions in the Commonwealth are made by consensus.’
What is remarkable is that the Queen has decided to put her view on the record – in front of Commonwealth leaders. On the surface, this looks risky. If the 53 heads of government decide, when her long reign comes to an end, not to appoint Prince Charles as her successor – and to instead have some kind of rolling presidency – this will be a repudiation of the Queen’s expressed wish.