Queen urges Commonwealth to name Prince Charles as its next leader

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"When the Queen dies or if she abdicates, her heir will not automatically become Head of the Commonwealth", it clarifies.

In an small moment of history the Queen has, for the first time, publicly referred to the day when she will no longer reign over us.

The 53 leaders, gathered at Buckingham Palace, are to make a decision on the succession on Friday, the BBC quoted 10 Downing Street as saying.

While Mr Turnbull once led the campaign for Australia to become a republic, he said there was no inconsistency with wanting a British monarch to run the Commonwealth.

In her opening speech, Queen Elizabeth spoke of her own "extraordinary journey" since pledging to serve the Commonwealth for life when aged 21.

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Elizabeth II has headed the Commonwealth of Nations since acceding as Monarch in 1952 on the death of her father King George VI and the early decades of her reign saw the British Empire rapidly decolonized and transformed into an worldwide organization of theoretically equal, independent and "freely associating" member-states.

The Queen has been head of the Commonwealth since coming to the throne in 1952.

Speaking before the Queen, Prince Charles, 69, added that he had been fortunate over the years to meet and talk with "so many giants of the Commonwealth" including Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, the late father of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Due to her constitutional position, the Queen nearly never publicly expresses opinions on political matters, making the statement all the more remarkable.

There is reportedly no general consensus over the Prince of Wales as the next Head of the Commonwealth, with India yet to confirm its stand on the matter. Joe Zasada, chair of the Royal Commonwealth Society of Canada, said the Queen has provided a strong example for her son and other royals to follow through her commitment to the Commonwealth.

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The Queen said it's her "wish" that Charles take over as the next head of the Commonwealth.

Vanuatu's Foreign Minister Ralph Reganvanau said the Pacific Ocean around his tiny island nation was being choked by plastic produced elsewhere and said global industrial powers were not taking the problem seriously enough.

Over 100 officers and soldiers from the Coldstream Guards were in honour guard outside the venue, wearing scarlet tunics and bearskins, as a 53 gun salute marked the formal opening.

Trudeau said he had discussed about the state of the world with Queen Elizabeth.

And she appeared in her element yesterday as she welcomed new leaders of the Commonwealth with a afternoon drinks reception, clutching what appeared to be her favourite tipple. The UK is considering banning cotton buds, plastic drinking straws and single-use plastics in England starting in 2018, part of a larger campaign to halt pollution of the world's rivers and oceans.

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