The Queen’s “sincere wish” has been granted!
The leaders of the Commonwealth — the 53 nations linked to the U.K. — have decided that they would like Prince Charles as their next head.
The leaders – who represent 2.4 billion people across the world – ended their summit on Friday by anointing Charles, 69, as the leader of their organization when the Queen ends her association.
The decision comes after the Queen publicly backed her son as the next Commonwealth leader for the first time.
“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 should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949,” the Queen said on Thursday during the formal opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Buckingham Palace.
“By continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities, 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,” she continued.
Queen Elizabeth has been the group’s symbolic figurehead since 1952. The position is not hereditary. (As the Queen’s firstborn, Charles is the hereditary heir to the British throne, which he will automatically inherit upon his mother’s death.)
In his own opening remarks at the summit, Prince Charles said: “For my part, the Commonwealth has been a fundamental feature of my life for as long as I can remember, beginning with my first visit to Malta when I was just 5 years old.
“And so, Ladies and Gentlemen, I pray that this Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will not only revitalize the bonds between our countries, but will also give the Commonwealth a renewed relevance to all citizens, finding practical solutions to their problems and giving life to their aspirations.
“By doing so, the Commonwealth can be a cornerstone for the lives of future generations, just as it has been for so many of us.”
Thursday night’s dinner at Buckingham Palace for Commonwealth leaders was viewed as the Queen’s royal sendoff to some attendees.
The Monarch, who turns 92 on Saturday, looked regal in a sparkling white gown, her Girls of Great Britain and Ireland diamond tiara and her ruby and diamond floral bandeau necklace.