Saturday, 17 April, 2021


Commonwealth starts secret talks on who will succeed Queen

Commonwealth leaders in secretive talks over who will replace the Queen Paul Marriott Global Look Press
Hannah Rogers | 16 February, 2018, 21:43

The Commonwealth position is not hereditary, leaving open the possibility that someone else could fill the role, and that's reportedly what a "high-level group" will be discussing before appearing at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in April.

Succession to lead the organisation is not hereditary and will not pass automatically to the Prince of Wales.

A "high-level group" of Commonwealth leaders is meeting in London to review the governance of Commonwealth nations - amid reports that its members may also begin considering the succession to Queen Elizabeth.

According to the documents that were seen by the BBC, the Group's discussions will be confined to "bureaucratic issues" and an insider suggested: "the question of succession.will come up".

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II now holds the title of Head of the Commonwealth, a symbolic position that has remained with the Queen since her coronation in 1953. There is no formal process for choosing her successor. Buckingham Palace says the issue is a matter for the Commonwealth itself to resolve. "Is it the person or the position?"

At the same time, other members of the organization, including Jamaica and Barbados, are considering to ditch the Queen as their Head of State, further severing the link between the Royal household and the Commonwealth.

There has been some previous talk of electing a ceremonial leader rather than appointing Prince Charles, although it is widely expected the latter will happen.

The conference, at Marlborough House, the Commonwealth's headquarters in London, brings together seven former ministers and senior officials from the global organisation. Its remit will reportedly include how the Secretariat is run and funded, how a new Secretary-General is chosen, and the balance of power between governors and the executive committee.

The group, which has its own staff and budget, is independent of the Commonwealth Secretariat. The agenda for the meeting says: "Discussions will take into consideration the issues raised in the first session and also the wider governance considerations of the Commonwealth".

The Queen has since praised her son's work saying she could not "wish to have been better supported and represented in the Commonwealth than by the Prince of Wales, who continues to give so much to it with great distinction".

Amitav Banerji, the former Commonwealth secretariat director of political affairs, reportedly told a United States embassy political officer in London that the prince "does not command the same respect" as the Queen. The Prince has previously represented the Queen at CHOGM, with two major tours to Commonwealth countries in the a year ago and a lifetime of relationship with its leaders.

According to his website, the Prince of Wales has visited 41 of the 52 Commonwealth countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Canada on numerous occasions.

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