The Commonwealth has reportedly launched into secret talks to consider who might succeed Queen Elizabeth as its head. Although Prince Charles will become King after the death of his mother, contrary to popular belief, the head of the Commonwealth is not a hereditary position. The BBC has reported that a “high-level group” of Commonwealth officials — which is made up of seven senior former ministers from the Commonwealth — are set to talk on the subject at the body’s London headquarters at Marlborough House.
Sources told the publication that the all-day summit will include a discussion of “wider governance considerations,” which is believed to be code for the succession. One senior source said, “I imagine the question of the succession, however distasteful it may naturally be, will come up.” The group will discuss whether Prince Charles should be appointed in a one-off decision or whether a permanent succession process needs to be established to guarantee that the British monarch automatically becomes the Commonwealth’s new leader. There has also been discussion in the past of electing a ceremonial leader removed from the monarchy in an attempt to improve the body’s democratic credentials.
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“There are various formulas being played with,” the source added. “Should it always be the heir to the throne or Prince Charles himself? Is it the person or the position?” The Queen was proclaimed head of the Commonwealth at her coronation in 1953. There is no formal process for choosing her successor.
The 91-year-old monarch recently opened up about the moment she received her crown in a new documentary titled The Coronation. Speaking about riding in an extravagant horse-drawn golden carriage that carried her from Westminster Abbey through the streets of London back to Buckingham Palace, the mother-of-four admitted it wasn’t as stunning as it appeared.
“Horrible,” she quipped while watching both private and official film footage. “It’s only sprung on a lever. Not very comfortable,” she remarked in a rather displeased tone. The documentary gave the living legend a chance to look back at her father’s special moment, King George VI’s 1937 coronation. “I’ve seen one coronation, and been the recipient in the other, which is pretty remarkable,” she mused. “It’s sort of, I suppose, the beginning of one’s life really, as a sovereign.”
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This post was written by Candice Mehta-Culjak. It originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.