Britain's Queen Elizabeth speaks at the formal opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
Britain's Queen Elizabeth speaks at the formal opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the ballroom at Buckingham Palace in London, Britain, April 19, 2018. Yui Mok/Pool via Reuters

Queen Elizabeth II has pleaded her case for her son, the Prince of Wales, to succeed her as Head of Commonwealth. Her Majesty spoke in front of the leaders of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

The Queen said it was her “sincere wish” that the leaders of the 53 Commonwealth nations would allow Prince Charles to carry on her role. The title of head of Commonwealth is not hereditary, and therefore it will not automatically pass onto her eldest son.

“It remains a great pleasure and honour to serve you as Head of the Commonwealth and to observe, with pride and satisfaction, that this is a flourishing network,” she addressed the 46 heads of governments and seven foreign ministers at the official opening of the CHOGM.

“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 should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949. 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. ”

Queen Elizabeth has been the symbolic figurehead since 1952 when her father, King George VI, died. Charles will one day succeed her as the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, but it’s not a guarantee that he would also be the head of Commonwealth.

But according to reports, it is now a foregone conclusion that Charles will indeed succeed her mother. The leaders are expected to discuss the matter on Friday, on the closing day of the two-day meeting.

The CHOGM opening ceremony had leaders paying tribute to Her Majesty’s service to the Commonwealth. Outgoing chair-in-office of the Commonwealth Dr Joseph Muscat, Maltese prime minister, said King George elevated the group to “unprecedented levels.” He was “equally elated” with the Prince of Wales’ efforts in Commonwealth affairs as well.

“We are certain that when he will be called upon to do so, he will provide solid and passionate leadership for our Commonwealth,” he said.

In his part, Prince Charles said the Commonwealth has been a fundamental feature of his life since his first visit to Malta when he was just five years old. “I pray that this Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will not only revitalise the bonds between our countries, but will also give the Commonwealth a renewed relevance to all citizens, finding practical solutions to their problems and giving life to their aspirations,” he said.

This is not the first time the Queen has expressed her wish to have Charles appointed as the next head of Commonwealth. At the CHOGM in Malta in 2015, she also endorsed her eldest son to continue her role.

CHOGM representatives, including Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are expected to discuss leading issues of recent times, including trade, cyber crime and environmental protection.