Next head of Commonwealth a virtual fait accompli

The Commonwealth seems have had little choice but to accept Prince Charles as the next head of the Commonwealth after the Queen expressed her “sincere wish” that he take over from her. She has been the  token leader for a long time.

RNZ:  Prince Charles to be next Commonwealth head

The Prince of Wales will succeed the Queen as head of the Commonwealth, its leaders have announced.

The Queen had said it was her “sincere wish” that Prince Charles would follow her in the role.

Leaders of the Commonwealth have been discussing the issue at a meeting behind closed doors at Windsor Castle.

The head role is non-hereditary so is not automatically passed on when the Queen dies, with some suggestions it might rotate among the 53 leaders.

In a statement, the leaders said they “recognise the role of the Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its people”.

Has the Queen really been a big champion of the Commonwealth?

Jacinda Ardern seems to have been swept up in royaltymania.

Both Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her predecessor Helen Clark, who are republicans, also backed Prince Charles saying keeping a British Royal in the figurehead role is a stable arrangement that has served the Commonwealth well.

Ms Ardern met Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwell, at their royal home earlier this week.

“I get a real sense from the interactions that I’ve had that his understanding of some of the challenges that we face in the Commonwealth is excellent, but particularly around environmental issues, which I think will only serve us well.”

Charles hasn’t stood as a champion of the environment to the people of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth represents about 2.4 billion people, but critics say the organisation is so disparate that it struggles to know what it is for, BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond said.

He also said the news of the prince’s appointment would be “of great satisfaction” to the Queen.

Perhaps  it makes her feel less guilty about keeping Charles waiting for the throne for so long – it’s a consolation bauble.

What does the head of the Commonwealth do?

The role, currently held by the Queen, is largely a symbolic one and carries no maximum fixed term.

It is used to unify the 53 member states and to ensure the core aims of the Commonwealth are fulfilled. These include linking the countries through trade and international co-operation.

The head of the Commonwealth usually makes regular visits to the member states to foster these connections personally.

That can’t be correct, the Queen hasn’t been here since 2003, and I think she does very little travel.

A decision on all successive heads has to be made by the Commonwealth leaders.

It was unlikely any would have spoken up against the wishes of the Queen.

Just as well it doesn’t give the prince any say over what we do here on the other side of the world.

The Standard: Prince Charles: mankind facing environmental ‘catastrophe’

Prince Charles today issued a stark warning that mankind faces “catastrophe” unless we learn to live in harmony with our environment. The prince says he fears we are “perilously close” to an environmental calamity that will ultimately result in the end of humanity unless we act now.

At least he can now lead the Commonwealth from the brink of catastrophe – but I’m not sure he has a lot of experience living in harmony with the environment. Maybe all his servants do that for him.


  1. lurcher1948

     /  April 21, 2018

    WHAT THE HELL DOES a virtual fait accompli mean PG

    • Which of the bowers and curtsiers do you think would have stood up and disagreed with the Queen in England?

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 21, 2018

        A virtual fait accompli – something that has been decided on and is bound to happen, is in the process of being brought about..

        I must say that for a republican who wants NZ to be a republic, JA has been doing a bit of fawning and sucking up to the Royal Family.

        • Gezza

           /  April 21, 2018

          Nowhere as much as that American banker bloke, wotsisname, who was holidaying here as PM for a few years & now cons AirNZ’s board into stumping up to bring his wealthy derelict golfing buddies over …

  2. Zedd

     /  April 21, 2018

    maybe when Queen Lizzie passes, King George 7th (charles) may pass this on.. to the next Gen ?

  3. Gezza

     /  April 21, 2018

    May as well keep the Head of the Commonwealth in the British Royal Family. Who wants to see endless lobbying, bribing & spats over which country’s turn it is next.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 21, 2018

      I wonder how long there’ll be a Commonwealth as we know it.

      • David

         /  April 21, 2018

        Its probably as relevant as the UN, G7, G20, NATO, APEC, the WTO, ASEAN and god knows how many other dead set useless organisations except the Commonwealth has the Queen so its pretty cool.

  4. David

     /  April 21, 2018

    I dont think there is any doubt about the royal families love for the commonwealth the issue is the British civil service is so wedded to Europe and they dont like anyone not from there. Boris is trying to do his bit but they care about as much for us as us for them. Its a nice link but largely symbolic and historical,