LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (all times local):
The Commonwealth has confirmed that Prince Charles will be the next leader of the organization of Britain and its former colonies once he succeeds his mother Queen Elizabeth II on the throne.
Commonwealth leaders meeting in London said in a statement that the next head of the organization “shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales.”
The announcement had been expected since the queen said Thursday that she hoped her son and heir would lead the Commonwealth after her.
The queen has led the Commonwealth throughout her 66-year reign, but the largely symbolic position is not hereditary, and some have suggested a non-royal head would project a more modern image.
Charles is a longtime champion of environmental causes, a priority for the Commonwealth.
British media say Commonwealth leaders have agreed that Prince Charles should succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as head of the 53-nation group.
The BBC, Sky News and others say Commonwealth heads of government, holding a private retreat Friday at Windsor Castle, have agreed that Charles should be the next leader of the group.
The queen has led the association of Britain and its former colonies throughout her 66-year reign, but the position is not hereditary. The queen is head of state in some Commonwealth countries, while others are republics.
On Thursday the British monarch said she hoped her son and heir would follow her at the group’s helm. British Prime Minister Theresa May and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had said they agreed Charles should lead the Commonwealth.
Commonwealth leaders are meeting at Windsor Castle, where they are set to discuss whether Prince Charles should succeed his mother Queen Elizabeth II as head of the 53-nation alliance.
The queen has headed the association of Britain and its former colonies throughout her 66-year reign, but the position is not hereditary.
The 91-year-old monarch has said she hopes her son and heir will succeed her. The decision will be taken collectively by Commonwealth heads of government, who are meeting Friday at the royal residence.
The British government has backed Charles, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he agrees “very much” with the queen’s wishes.
This week’s Commonwealth summit has been overshadowed by a scandal over the treatment by U.K. immigration authorities of some long-term residents from the Caribbean.