LONDON (Reuters) – Prince Charles was approved as the successor to Queen Elizabeth as head of the Commonwealth at a meeting of the group’s heads of government in Windsor on Friday.
“We recognize the role of the queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples,” the Commonwealth leaders said in a statement. “The next head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.”
There have been calls for the role to be rotated around the 53 member-states, most of which are former British territories, but in recent days the queen, 91, the British government and other leaders have backed Charles, 69.
The Commonwealth evolved out of the British empire in the mid-20th century, and the queen has been its head since her reign began in 1952. Charles had long been expected to take on the role even though it is not strictly hereditary.
(Reporting By William James; writing by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Stephen Addison)