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Head of the Commonwealth

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Brock
1281703.  Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:14 pm Reply with quote

The Queen has publicly stated that she wants the Prince of Wales to succeed her in the non-hereditary post of Head of the Commonwealth:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/19/queen-suggests-prince-charles-should-be-next-commonwealth-head

Assuming that the Commonwealth heads of government agree to it, is there any reason why the Queen shouldn't stand down in his favour with immediate effect? It wouldn't affect her status as head of state in the UK or in the 15 other Commonwealth realms.

 
suze
1281709.  Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:34 pm Reply with quote

None at all, although the assumption might be quite a large one. Because of his admitted adultery and consequent divorce, some of the Caribbean nations are said to have fairly large reservations about him.

Had the Queen died twenty years ago, I suspect that her successor as Head of the Commonwealth would have been Nelson Mandela. But as things stand it's hard to see beyond Prince Charles, unless Kylie wants the gig which I rather doubt.

 
crissdee
1281727.  Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:14 pm Reply with quote

I would have thought this would be a case where they could skip a generation, William or Harry would probably be popular choices in most places.

 
dr.bob
1281747.  Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:24 am Reply with quote

How about someone who wasn't born into the House of Windsor, since it's not supposed to be a hereditary position?

Someone on the news this morning suggested picking government heads from different countries, much as they do with the Secretary Generalship of the UN. That would at least make the Commonwealth look a lot less colonial and ruled by privileged white people.

 
'yorz
1281750.  Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:35 am Reply with quote

Sounds OK to me, dr.bob.

 
Baryonyx
1281779.  Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:55 am Reply with quote

Select a subject at random from any of the x million people who live in the Commonwealth.

 
crissdee
1281799.  Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:54 am Reply with quote

According to the paper today, Harry's name has been bandied about in reference to the post.

 
tetsabb
1281809.  Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:44 am Reply with quote

Arsène Wenger is looking for a new gig, I believe
😉

 
Alexander Howard
1281816.  Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:08 am Reply with quote

Well thank goodness for that.

God bless the Prince of Wales.

 
suze
1281821.  Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:25 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Someone on the news this morning suggested picking government heads from different countries, much as they do with the Secretary Generalship of the UN. That would at least make the Commonwealth look a lot less colonial and ruled by privileged white people.


Would Britain stand for it, though?

The appointment of the Head of the Commonwealth has to be agreed unanimously. Wouldn't Mrs May just veto if (say) the rest of the Commonwealth put up a socialist from the Caribbean who hasn't always been entirely complimentary about her government?

I have to say that I'm mildly surprised that none of the black Commonwealth nations seem to have tried to veto the Prince Charles plan.

 
Alexander Howard
1281833.  Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:42 pm Reply with quote

The Headship is not a political position - it is ceremonial and moral leadership. Try sticking in a randomly chosen politico and the whole thing falls apart. Only The Queen has the personal authority to stand in that position and be the point of unity.

That is irrespective of Her role as head of state in any one of sixteen realms of the Commonwealth: if Theresa May were to try to tell Her Majesty what to do as Head of the Commonwealth, she would get a short firm answer.

Most countries in the Commonwealth understand and respect what that established moral authority means, and the African countries more than most. Without that point of unity, the Commonwealth does not work; and when it works, it does wonders.

 
Spud McLaren
1281834.  Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:54 pm Reply with quote

I wasn't aware that one was supposed to use a capitalised form of the possessive pronoun when referring to Liz. Apart from in "Her Majesty".

 
Sparkyweasel
1281866.  Fri Apr 20, 2018 4:07 pm Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:
I would have thought this would be a case where they could skip a generation, William or Harry would probably be popular choices in most places.


HM said she hoped the Prince of Wales would take over. She didn't name Charles.
When she dies and Charles becomes king, won't he stop being PoW and William become Prince of Wales?
So it may be that having William as Head of the Commonwealth would fit with the queen's expressed wish.

 
suze
1281873.  Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:21 pm Reply with quote

Sparkyweasel wrote:
When she dies and Charles becomes king, won't he stop being PoW and William become Prince of Wales?


Strictly speaking, the title of Prince of Wales is not hereditary and is given to a person rather than a position. That means that at such time as Prince Charles accedes to the throne, he will still be Prince of Wales as well as King.

That will be the case unless and until he chooses to grant the title of Prince of Wales to someone else. The title is in the sovereign's personal gift and he doesn't have to grant it to anyone. When George V was King, the Prince of Wales was Prince David who was to become Edward VIII. He never appointed a replacement PoW, and when he abdicated as King he also abdicated as PoW. George VI chose never to appoint a PoW either, and so the title was in abeyance from 1936 until the present Queen awarded it to Prince Charles in 1958.

In practice, if there is an heir apparent and he is old enough to drink, it is usual for him to be proclaimed Prince of Wales the day after the coronation of the new sovereign. It is highly likely that Charles will follow this precedent and give the title to Prince William at that time, but he doesn't absolutely have to.

 
tetsabb
1281906.  Sat Apr 21, 2018 3:33 am Reply with quote

And it appears that he goofed big-time the day of the announcement. When being presented to some plebs, he asked a black woman where she was from.
"Manchester"
"You don't look like you're from Manchester"

Like father, like son?

Good start.

 

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