World leaders backed Prince Charles on 20 April 2018 to one day succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as head of the Commonwealth. Prince Charles, 69, the queen’s eldest son and heir to the throne, was considered the hot favorite for the role as leader of the Commonwealth, a global network of 53 nations that has a combined population of 2.4 billion.
Unlike his future role as king, this one wasn’t automatically in the bag. The head of the Commonwealth is not hereditary title, and some have argued that the leadership of the Commonwealth is too Britain-centric. Others said it would make more sense for the title to be held on a rotating basis.
The queen, who is said to take great pride in the Commonwealth, made it explicit for the first time who she was backing. On 19 April 2018 during her remarks from Buckingham Palace that formally opened the two-day Commonwealth Heads of Government summit, the queen said that it was her “sincere wish” that “one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949.
When she became leader of the Commonwealth in 1952, the organization had eight nations. The club has expanded over the past decades, but it has struggled to define its purpose. Over the past two days, its leaders discussed issues including climate change, cyberwarfare and trade.