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Commonwealth backs Prince Charles as next head


LONDON: Commonwealth leaders agreed Friday that Prince Charles should follow his mother Queen Elizabeth II as the next head of the group at the close of a summit overshadowed by a row over Britain´s treatment of Caribbean immigrants.
"The next Head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles," the 53 member countries said in a statement.
Queen Elizabeth had told leaders on the first day of the summit on Thursday that she wanted her eldest son to succeed her in the symbolic figurehead role, which is non-hereditary.
Queen Elizabeth, who turns 92 on Saturday, spoke of her own "extraordinary journey" since pledging to serve the Commonwealth for life when aged 21.
"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," she said, referring to Charles.
Queen Elizabeth has been the Commonwealth´s head since her father king George VI´s death in 1952.
Some republican voices had been angling for change in future but Prime Minister Theresa May gave her backing to 69-year-old Charles, who is heir to the throne of 16 Commonwealth nations, saying it was "fitting" that he should have the role.
Other Commonwealth leaders including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also publicly endorsed Charles.
The summit also agreed a series of commitments on marine protection, combating malaria and guaranteeing 12 years of education for children in all member states by 2030.
(from thenews)

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