Queen Elizabeth II opened a summit of the 53-nation Commonwealth on Thursday, and backed her son Prince Charles to be the next leader of the association of Britain and its former colonies.

In a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, the Queen said she hoped Charles would "carry on the important work" of leading the Commonwealth, a loose alliance that has struggled to carve out a firm place on the world stage.

The Queen has no designated successor as Commonwealth chief, and some have suggested Charles should not take over the helm of the group, which takes in 2.4 billion people on five continents.

"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," the Queen said.

Opening the Commonwealth summit at Buckingham Palace, the Queen gently campaigns for her son Charles to become the next head of the Commonwealth after her -- a role that is not hereditary.

"The Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father."#CHOGM2018 pic.twitter.com/nFVhj0sRg4


Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who hosted the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015, signalled that leaders were likely to confirm Charles as successor to his mother, who turns 92 on Saturday.

Muscat said he was sure that Charles "will provide solid and passionate leadership for our Commonwealth" when called upon to do so.

'Fervent champion'

The survival of the Commonwealth owes much to the commitment of the Queen, who has visited almost every member country — often multiple times — over her 66-year reign.

British Prime Minister Theresa May praised the monarch for being "the Commonwealth's most steadfast and fervent champion."

Leaders from countries from vast India to tiny Tuvalu will spend two days meeting in London and at Windsor Castle west of the city. The agenda includes protecting the world's oceans and helping small states boost cybersecurity.

Offers support for Prince Charles during official opening speech 1:23

Source : http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/queen-prince-charles-next-commonwealth-leader-1.4626064

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