Prince Charles approved as next head of Commonwealth

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Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday (Friday in Manila) openly voiced her wish for her son Prince Charles to succeed her as head of the Commonwealth as she opened the group's summit for potentially the final time.

The Commonwealth's political leaders reached the agreement after months of speculation over moves to separate the role from the British monarchy because so numerous member nations do not recognise the Queen as their head of state. "The next Head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales".

At 92, she has cut down on long-haul travels.

He said: "We're led to to understand that she'll be winding down her duties as Head of the Commonwealth".

Her Majesty has been the ruler of the Commonwealth since she took to the throne in 1952.

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The queen's expression of her wish and Prime Minister Theresa May's remarks thanking her for her contribution over the decades reflected acarefully choreographed move toappoint Prince Charles with the agreement of the leaders of the 53 countries.

She also said she was mindful the Commonwealth draws its mandate from the countries and its leaders.

The queen has headed the association of Britain and its former colonies throughout her 66-year reign, but the position is not hereditary.

The Queen has officially opened the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which Prime Minister Peter O'Neill is attending. Its members include small island nations in the Caribbean and Pacific that are among the countries most vulnerable to rising seas, fiercer storms and other effects of global climate change.

Leaders at the meeting signed a "blue charter" to protect the world's oceans and committed to stronger cybersecurity and freer trade.

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The next CHOGM will be hosted by Rwanda in 2020. The Commonwealth also makes up 1/4th of the world's territory. She inaugurated the 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting earlier in the morning. The Commonwealth could provide a platform for British diplomatic and cultural clout outside the EU.

May had to apologize this week after it emerged that some people who came to the United Kingdom from the Caribbean decades ago had been refused medical care in Britain or threatened with deportation because they could not produce paperwork to show their rights to residence.

May and other government ministers have apologised repeatedly after it emerged that some people who settled in the United Kingdom in the decades after the second world war had recently been refused medical care or threatened with deportation because they could not produce paperwork to show their right to reside in Britain. "She has been the rock that has kept this organization sturdy, and true to its positive beliefs", he said.

According to President Akufo-Addo, "from an initial membership of five countries namely Australia, Canada, New Zealand and then white-ruled South Africa, who were linked by ties of blood and race to Britain, to becoming, now, a 53-member organisation of diverse, once colonised peoples from all the continents of the world, who have gained their freedom and sovereignty, and are today equal members with Britain in the Commonwealth of Nations".

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