Leaders on Friday approved Prince Charles as the successor to Queen Elizabeth as head of the Commonwealth at a meeting of the group’s heads of government in Windsor, Sky News reported citing unnamed sources.

There had been calls for the role to be rotated around the 53 member-states, most of which are former British territories, but in recent days the queen, the British government and other leaders have backed Charles to take on the role.

The summit which was originally to be hosted by Vanuatu at the end of 2017 was moved to the UK as Vanuatu was no longer able to host the event due to the damage done by Cyclone Pam to the island nation’s infrastructure.

The meeting was postponed to the spring of 2018 due to other international commitments.

The position of Commonwealth Chair-in-Office, held by the government leader of the CHOGM host country, will be transferred at the summit from the Prime Minister of Malta to the Prime Minister of the UK who will hold the post until the 26th CHOGM expected in 2020.

The theme of the summit is “Towards a Common Future”.

The British hosts have set out four main goals for the summit.

These are prosperity: boosting intra-Commonwealth trade and investment security: increasing cooperation across security challenges including global terrorism, organised crime and cyber attacks fairness: promoting democracy.

Others are fundamental freedoms and good governance across the Commonwealth sustainability: building the resilience of small and vulnerable states to deal with the effects of climate change and other global crises

Under consideration will bea Commonwealth Blue Charter on ocean governance, a Commonwealth connectivity agenda for trade and investment, a declaration on cybercrime, and revised Commonwealth guidelines on election observation in member countries.

This will be the first CHOGM held following the UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union, a decision which has resulted in calls for Britain to strengthen its economic ties with and play a greater role in the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth currently is responsible for one-tenth of British trade compare to the EU with which the UK currently conducts half of its trade.

Intra-Commonwealth trade, overall, is expected to increase by at least 17 per cent around 700 billion dollars by 2020.

NAN