2018-02-13 11:45:38 UTC
The Commonwealth has secretly begun considering who might succeed the Queen
as its head, the BBC has learned.
The issue is hugely sensitive because the role is not hereditary and will
not pass automatically to the Prince of Wales on the Queen's death.
The Commonwealth has set up a "high level group" to look at the way the
international organisation is governed.
This group is meeting later, officially to review how the Commonwealth is
run by its secretariat and governors.
However, senior sources added that the gathering in London would also
consider what happens when the Queen, who turns 92 in April, dies.
One said: "I imagine the question of the succession, however distasteful it
may naturally be, will come up."
The agenda for the all-day summit, seen by the BBC, says there will be a
discussion of "wider governance considerations" which insiders say is code
for the succession.
The group is expected to report to the Commonwealth Heads of Government
Meeting (CHOGM) in London in April, which is likely to be the last that the
91-year-old monarch will attend.