The Queen said she wants Prince Charles to replace her as Head of the Commonwealth as she opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London Thursday.
Her Majesty, who is set to celebrate her 92nd birthday on Saturday, told the 53 Commonwealth leaders gathered at Buckingham Palace that she hopes the Prince of Wales is chosen to succeed her.
There has been speculation surrounding whether or not the heir to the throne will take on the role for years, with leaders thought to be making a decision on the succession on Friday.
The Queen, who has been head of the Commonwealth since coming to the throne in 1952, explained at the formal opening: “It is my sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations and will decide that one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949.
“By continuing to treasure and reinvigorate our associations and activities, I believe we will secure a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world for those who follow us: a world where the Commonwealth’s generosity of spirit can bring its gentle touch of healing and hope to all.”
The Queen welcomed leaders from the 53 Commonwealth nations to the palace for two days of discussions on topics such as ocean conservation, cyber-security, and trade between the countries.
Prince Charles said in his own summit speech: “For my part, the Commonwealth has been a fundamental feature of my life for as long as I can remember, beginning with my first visit to Malta when I was just five years old.
“And so, ladies and gentlemen, I pray that this Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will not only revitalize the bonds between our countries, but will also give the Commonwealth a renewed relevance to all citizens, finding practical solutions to their problems and giving life to their aspirations.
“By doing so, the Commonwealth can be a cornerstone for the lives of future generations, just as it has been for so many of us.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May was among those in attendance Thursday, telling the leaders that the summit would “take on some of the 21st century’s biggest questions.
“There have been difficulties, successes, controversies, but I believe wholeheartedly in the good that the Commonwealth can do.”
Prince Harry, Prince William and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall also attended the event.