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Charles in charge

UPDATE 6:57 a.m.

British media say Commonwealth leaders have agreed that Prince Charles should succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as head of the 53-nation group.

The BBC, Sky News and others say Commonwealth heads of government, holding a private retreat Friday at Windsor Castle, have agreed that Charles should be the next leader of the group.

The queen has led the association of Britain and its former colonies throughout her 66-year reign, but the position is not hereditary. The queen is head of state in some Commonwealth countries, while others are republics.


ORIGINAL 5:20 a.m.

Commonwealth leaders met behind the thick walls of Windsor Castle Friday to discuss whether Prince Charles should succeed his mother Queen Elizabeth II as head of the 53-nation alliance.

The queen has headed the association of Britain and its former colonies throughout her 66-year reign, but the position is not hereditary.

The 91-year-old monarch has said she hopes her son and heir will succeed her. The decision will be taken collectively by Commonwealth heads of government, who are holding a private retreat at the royal residence west of London.

The British government has backed Charles to succeed his mother, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he agreed "very much" with the queen's wishes.

Other topics on the agenda at the Commonwealth meeting include cybersecurity, trade and protecting the world's oceans.

Britain has tried to use the biennial meeting to reinvigorate a group that takes in 2.4 billion people on five continents but has struggled to carve out a firm place on the world stage. The U.K. also wants to lay the groundwork for new trade deals with Commonwealth nations after Britain leaves the European Union next year.

But the summit has been overshadowed by uproar over the treatment by U.K. immigration authorities of some long-term British residents from the Caribbean.

May and other government ministers have apologized repeatedly after it emerged that some people who settled in the U.K. in the decades after World War II had recently been refused medical care or threatened with deportation because they could not produce paperwork to show their right to reside in Britain.



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