Prince Charles to succeed Queen Elizabeth as Commonwealth head

LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Prince Charles was approved as the successor to Queen Elizabeth as head of the Commonwealth at a meeting of the group's heads of government in Windsor on Friday, Sky News reported citing unnamed sources.

There have 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.

The Commonwealth Secretariat, which carries out the organization's day-to-day work, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Prime Minister Theresa May's office did not comment on the report.

The succession issue was due to be discussed at the final day of the meeting, when leaders traveled 20 miles outside London for private meetings at the queen's Windsor Castle home.

RELATED: The best photos of the British Royal Family

The best photos of the British Royal Family
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The best photos of the British Royal Family

When Prince George met President Obama, in his bathrobe, no less.

(Photo by Pete Souza/The White House)

Prince William holding Duchess Kate's hand as they leave the St. Andrews Anniversary Dinner in New York City while she was pregnant with Charlotte.

(Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

Prince Harry shares a joke with British competitors at the velodrome during the 2014 Invictus Games.

(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Prince William gives Prince George a kiss on the head while on tour in Australia.

(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Prince William shares a joke with his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh during an offical visit to RAF Valley in 2011.

(Photo by Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cambridge reacts (hilariously) as young Dayna Miller shows her a doll made to look like the Duchess.

(Photo credit should read DANNY LAWSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Prince William explains the planes and helicopters to his very wind-blown son during a visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo.

(Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

This adorably candid moment between William and Kate at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Prince Harry melting hearts as he poses with a Dutch girl named Daimy Gommers at Invictus Games Orlando 2016.

(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Prince William stretching before the Audi Polo Challenge because ... lol.

(Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Two year old Frederik Azzopardi cries as he refuses to give Queen Elizabeth ll a posy of flowers during The Queen's and visit to University College in 1999.

 (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cambridge rolls her eyes after someone at an event in NYC tells her to "keep wrapping!" when she pauses to speak with volunteers. 

(Photo by Samir Hussein/Pool/WireImage)

Prince Harry pretends to be a secret service agent (or James Bond?) as Kate cracks up at the 2014 Trooping the Colour ceremony.

(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The many faces of Prince George during his 2014 royal tour of Australia and New Zealand.  

(Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

And the many faces of Kate during the London 2012 Olympics.

(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Need we say more?

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

President Reagan laughs following a joke by the straight-faced Queen Elizabeth II, who commented on the lousy California weather she has experienced since her arrival to the States. 

(Photo by Bettmann via Getty Images)

When Kate and William realized they were up on the Jumbotron at Barclays Center in NYC.  

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Dikembe Mutombo telling Kate and Wills this is the BEST POPCORN EVER. And The royals can't *wait* to try it.

(Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

All of the adorable emotions from the most recent balcony appearance.

(Photo by Luca Teuchmann/WireImage)

Prince Harry makes a funny face at Ascot Racecourse in 2011.

(Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)

When William and Kate met Beyonce and Jay-Z.

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

When the Duke of Cambridge adorably offered his wife a flower at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney.

(Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Prince Harry sticks out his tongue as he jokes with a child during a visit to the Lesotho Child Counselling Unit in 2008.

(Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)


The Commonwealth evolved out of the British empire in the mid-20th century, and the queen has been its head since her reign began in 1952. Charles had long been expected to take on the role even though it is not strictly hereditary.

This week's Commonwealth summit has seen thousands of delegates from across the globe descend on London, debating issues such as the environment, women's rights and trade. It ends later on Friday, when May is due to speak.

Britain has sought to use its hosting of the event as a chance to reinvigorate the loose alliance of countries, which have a combined population of 2.4 billion people, eyeing increased trade and global influence as it prepares to leave the European Union.

But the summit has been overshadowed by the embarrassing treatment of Caribbean migrants who came to Britain after World War Two to help rebuild the country, but have been caught up in a tightening of immigration rules.

The biennial meeting, taking place in Britain for the first time in 20 years, could be the last attended by the 91-year-old queen as she cuts back on some of her official duties. The next summit is due to be held in Malaysia in 2020.

(Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)

RELATED: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles through the years

Queen Elizabeth and her son, Prince Charles, together through the years
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Queen Elizabeth and her son, Prince Charles, together through the years
Prince Charles with his mother Queen Elizabeth II, in 1969. (Photo by � Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
BURNLEY, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 16: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales travel down the Leeds and Liverpool Canal on the 'Pride of Sefton' barge on day 1 of a visit to the North West of England as part of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee Tour of the UK on May 16, 2012 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Great Britain, The Duchess Of Windsor, The Queen Elizabeth Ii And Prince Charles (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
BRAEMAR, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 2: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall with Queen Elizabeth II attend the Braemar Games Highland gathering on September 2, 2006, Scotland. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
A young Prince Charles in the back of a car with his mother, Queen Elizabeth II and his sister Princess Anne. (Photo by � Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 01: The Line Of Succession Of The British Monarchy - Queen Elizabeth II With Her Consort, Prince Philip Posing With Their Son Prince Charles, The Prince Of Wales, And His Son, Prince William. Three Generations Of The British Royal Family Gathered At Clarence House (Photo by Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)
Prince Charles, Duke Philip of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II welcome US President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan at Windsor Castle during an official visit to England. (Photo by Larry Downing/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)
BRAEMAR, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend the annual Braemar Highland Games on September 6, 2014 in Braemar, Scotland. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) with her baby son Prince Charles, 1949. (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - JUNE 16: Queen Elizabeth II greets her son Charles the Prince of Wales at a polo match at Windsor Great Park following the second day of Royal Ascot on June 16, 2004 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
These pictures of eight year old Prince Charles and his Royal parents - Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh - are the most informal ever taken of the baby Prince and his youthful mother and father. These pictures are from a film made for the British Newsreels Association in the grounds of Windlesham Moor, country home in Surrey of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke. PICTURE SHOWS: Family life at its happiest expressed in radiant smiles of Princess Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh and their infant son, Prince Charles. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Undated picture showing the Royal British couple, Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with their two children, Charles, Prince of Wales (L) and Princess Anne (R), circa 1951. (Photo credit should read OFF/AFP/Getty Images)
The Queen & The Prince Of Wales Attend A Charity Polo Match At Guards Polo Club In Windsor. . (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
The Royal family share a joke with Geoff Capes as they attend the Braemar Highland Games in Scotland. Left to right are: The Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Geoff Capes. 4th September 1982. (Photo by Kent Gavin/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (L), Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) talk on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on the final ceremonial day of the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London on June 5, 2012. Queen Elizabeth II led a grand carriage procession through London to mark her diamond jubilee Tuesday but faced the crowning moment of the festivities without her ill husband Prince Philip. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/GettyImages)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 05: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II attend a thanksgiving service to mark her Diamond Jubilee at St Paul's cathedral on June 5, 2012 in London, England. For only the second time in its history the UK celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of a monarch. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates the 60th anniversary of her ascension to the throne today with a carriage procession and a service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral. (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 08: (L-R) Prince Charles, Prince of Wales listens as Queen Elizabeth II delivers her speech during the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords. Proposed legislation is expected to be introduced on toughening immigration regulations, capping social care costs in England and setting a single state pension rate of 144 GBP per week. (Photo by Jon Bond - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
BRAEMAR, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend the annual Braemar Highland Games on September 6, 2014 in Braemar, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
CUMNOCK, SCOTLAND - JULY 02: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales during a visit to Belling Hospitality Centre in the grounds of Dumfries House on July 2, 2014 in Cumnock, Scotland. The Queen viewed preparations for the Commonwealth Games as part of a week of engagements in Scotland. The monarch was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh on a visit to Glasgow's Kelvin Hall, where the uniform and accreditation centre for the 2014 Games is located. (Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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