All hail…Prince Charles? Queen Elizabeth’s son will reportedly be the next head of the Commonwealth, one day after she requested that Charles take over for her! Does that mean he’s now king?
Nope! Though Prince Charles, 69, has reportedly been approved as the next head of the Commonwealth of Nations, according to Sky News, he will not be king. Instead, he will reportedly take over for his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, 91, as the head of the intergovernmental organization of 53 member states, most of which are former territories of the British Empire. Queen Elizabeth made a personal request that Charles take over during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on April 19. “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 will carry on the important work started by my father in 1949,” Queen Elizabeth said.
“By continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities,” she added, “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.” The leaders reportedly made the decision during a retreat at Windsor Castle on April 20.
It seems they were charmed by Prince Charles, who also spoke at the meeting. “For my part, the Commonwealth has been a fundamental feature of my life for as long as I can remember,” he said, pledging his loyalty and reiterating his commitment to the Commonwealth. He and his mother seemed to win everyone over. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he agreed “very much” with the Queen’s wishes. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was also “elated” by Charles’ “vigor” for the role. Good job, Charles! Just a FYI — Prince Charles is indeed next in line to take over the British Monarchy after his mother, per The Sun. Prince William, 35, Charles’s eldest son, would be second in line.
The Commonwealth was created in the early 1900s, to “ease the process of British decolonization,” according to World Atlas, and unite countries under “similar values.” It’s mainly a symbolic organization, but it helps build diplomatic ties between the countries (though it has been criticizing for allowing countries with severe human rights abuses to join.) Countries can leave the commonwealth, and currently, the members are: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, The Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Kingdom, Vanuatu,, and Zambia.
The position is not hereditary, unlike the British crown, and there have been some calls for it to rotate among the countries. Prince Harry, 33, was recently appointed as the new Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, according to Us Weekly. He’ll now be responsible for working with young people among the member states. His soon-to-be wife Meghan Markle, 36, will join him in the role.