Secret Talks to Discuss Aftermath of Queen's Death


The agenda for the summit, seen by the BBC, says there will be a discussion of "wider governance considerations" which insiders say is code for the succession.

Although the Prince of Wales will inherit the throne, the Queen's role as Head of the Commonwealth is not hereditary and will not pass automatically to her son.

According to the BBC, a "high level group" in the British Commonwealth is secretly preparing for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, who now leads the global organization.

A Commonwealth Secretariat spokesman confirmed a "high level group that will that will make recommendations on governance" held its first meeting at Marlborough House, the Commonwealth's London headquarters, on Tuesday.

Greece's Queen Anne Marie, left, talks to former Spanish Queen Sofia, right, and Britain's Prince Charles while attending the funeral ceremony in tribute to late Romanian King Michael in Bucharest, Romania.

However Commonwealth sources told Sputnik that the succession would not be on the agenda of the meeting and that such a matter would fall outside of the group's remit.

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While the issue of succession is not listed in the group's mandate, senior sources told the BBC that the succession would be discussed at the gathering.

While many Commonwealth figures presume there will be no realistic alternative to Charles, there has in the past been talk of electing a ceremonial leader to improve the organisation's democratic credentials.

"There are various formulas being played with", the source added.

The Queen, who turns 92 in April, was proclaimed head of the Commonwealth at her coronation in 1953, when she was head of state in seven of its eight members.

The succession plans are going to be discussed at the group's upcoming meeting in London, though the official objective of the summit is to review how the Commonwealth is managed by its governors and secretariat.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

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The group will discuss whether Prince Charles should be appointed in a one-off decision or whether a permanent succession process needs to be established to guarantee that the British monarch automatically becomes the Commonwealth's new leader. "Is it the person or the position?"

While there is no formal process for choosing the Queen's successor, it is likely that the decision will officially be made by Commonwealth Heads at the time of the Queen's death.

The meeting in London aimed at focusing on the future governance of the Commonwealth, could also talk about the possible candidate who would take over after the queen's death.

According to documents seen by BBC, the high-level group will not just confine itself to bureaucratic changes.

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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