Prince Charles has been approved to take over from the Queen as the next head of the Commonwealth, according to Sky sources.
The decision was made by leaders on a retreat at Windsor Castle on Friday afternoon.
It comes after the 91-year-old monarch made a personal request for her son to succeed her at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.
She told leaders on Thursday: “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 will carry on the important work started by my father in 1949.”
Moments before she spoke, Prince Charles made an informal pitch to take over leading the group of 53 nations, offering a small reminder of his commitment to the Commonwealth.
“For my part, the Commonwealth has been a fundamental feature of my life for as long as I can remember,” he said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin President had said he agreed “very much” with the Queen’s wishes.
And Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who is the outgoing Commonwealth chair, said he was “elated” by Prince Charles’ “vigour” for participating in the Commonwealt
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Sky’s Events Commentator, Alastair Bruce, called the agreement “one of the most remarkable pieces of political exercise”.
He said: “The Queen was out of character because we heard publicly a statement from her which undoubtedly had been checked with Government.
“The Queen does not speak like that without the assurance and advice of her Prime Minister, so that would have been passed by the Prime Minister.
“And after all it was brilliantly cued by the Prime Minister of Malta, who implied that the discussion was in hand, and then the Queen spoke.
“So it was probably one of the most remarkable pieces of political exercise by Government and palace working together with the Commonwealth.”
The role is not hereditary, and there were some calls for it to rotate between countries.
A Sky Data poll conducted before the agreement found 44% of Britons backed the Prince of Wales becoming head of the organisation.
While 32% said the role should instead rotate between representatives from other Commonwealth countries.
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