THERE have just been two Heads of the Commonwealth, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II, so it was assumed that the next British monarch would take over that role open accession.
The Queen however in her address to the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) meeting in Malta on November 27 has given some very strong hints that this may be her last speech in that capacity.
She said that she ‘cherished’ her time as leader of the Commonwealth, thanked Prince Charles for his support and ‘great distinction’ and praised the Duke of Edinburgh for his ‘boundless energy and commitment’.
As the Queen is 89 and Prince Philip is 94 they had previously announced that they would be cutting back on their official duties, especially foreign travel with other members of the Royal Family.
Therefore she may decide to give Prince Charles an additional position of prominence, but at 67, he is already considerably older than Edward VII who became king at the age of 59 and was said to have problems with coming to terms with the monarchy at such a late age.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh lived in Malta from late 1949 to 1951 whilst the Duke was in the Royal Navy, the only country in which the Queen has lived apart from Great Britain.