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Queen's wish fulfilled as Prince Charles is approved as the next head of the Commonwealth

The 53 nation leaders decided that Prince Charles will be the next Head of the Commonwealth. Photo: PA

After the Queen expressed her wishes on Thursday, it shouldn’t come as a great surprise, but the leaders of the Commonwealth have decided that they do want Prince Charles to be their next head.

When the communiqué came out on Friday, it showed that all 53 leaders – who between them represent 2.4 billion people - came to that conclusion.

The Commonwealth summit relocated to Windsor Castle and the various leaders were locked at what has been called a ‘retreat’.

The Queen opened the discussions, but I’m told she did not take part in them.

But then, she didn’t need to.

The Queen endorsed her son to succeed her. Credit: PA

The Queen spoke on Thursday of her wish that "one day" (which was a euphemism for ‘when I’m no longer here’) her son Prince Charles would lead the Commonwealth just as her father, King George VI, had done before her.

She would not have said that, had she had the slightest doubt that the leaders, gathered at that time in Buckingham Palace, would decide otherwise.

However, there was a possibility that one of the nations, as varied as they are in size and wealth, could have wished to proceed differently.

So, the final decision hinged on the meeting in Windsor.

On Friday night, the Prince Minister, who is the hosting leader for this London-based summit, closed proceedings at a press conference next to the Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.

Unlike the accession of Monarch, the job of Head of Commonwealth, is not hereditary.

This may be the last CHOGM meeting the Queen presides over. Credit: PA

There were some calls for the position to be rotated among the member states – but that always opened the possibility that the position would become politicised or that the holder would act in his or her short-term electoral interests.

That said, the eponymous campaign group Republic has called the decision an "abuse of public office".

"When Donald Trump gives jobs to family members there’s an outcry, when the Queen does it we’re told it’s all ok," said Graham Smith from the group. It would have been very damaging to Prince Charles if the decision had gone against him.

But Friday’s declaration by 53 leaders means that at a time dictated by the Queen’s longevity, the Prince of Wales will lead the Commonwealth.