Who is head of the Commonwealth, will Prince Charles assume the role and how do the member countries decide?

THE Head of the Commonwealth is a symbolic role which was created in 1949.

Currently there are 53 British Commonwealth states whose heads of governments decide who holds the title.

Who is the Head of the Commonwealth?

Queen Elizabeth II is the current Head of the Commonwealth and assumed her role upon her father’s death in 1952.

But with her Majesty aged 94, the 53 member states decided that her son Prince Charles would succeed her in the role.

The decision was made after being discussed by the leaders of the member states during talks inside Windsor Castle on April 20, 2018.

The position is not automatically held by the British monarch.

When will Prince Charles assume the role?

Prince Charles will take on the role when his mother Queen Elizabeth II dies or resigns from the position.

After welcoming world leaders to a Buckingham Palace state dinner in April, 2018, the Queen endorsed Prince Charles for the role

She told the leaders gathered at the start of a two-day Commonwealth summit that she hoped they would choose him to carry on the important work started by her father King George VI.

The Queen added: "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."

What does the role involve?

When her Majesty became Queen in 1952, she also became the head of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Her role has no formal functions, but it is recognised as being one of great symbolic significance and importance.

Queen Elizabeth often appears at events celebrating the nations, such as Commonwealth Day and visiting member countries.

After she took the throne, in her 1953 Christmas message the Queen heralded the future of a new Commonwealth, saying:

"The Commonwealth bears no resemblance to the empires of the past.

"It is an entirely new conception built on the highest qualities of the spirit of man: friendship, loyalty, and the desire for freedom and peace."

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