Prince Charles will succeed Queen Elizabeth II as the head of the Commonwealth.
The decision was made official by the leaders of the British organization in London, England, on Friday.
"I am deeply touched and honoured by the decision of Commonwealth Heads of State and Government that I should succeed The Queen, in due course, as Head of the Commonwealth," Prince Charles said in a statement that was tweeted by Clarence House. "Meanwhile, I will continue to support Her Majesty in every possible way, in the service of our unique family of nations."
According to BBC News, the head role is non-hereditary. Therefore, it is not automatically passed on when the previous royal in power dies.
The news comes ahead of Her Majesty's 92nd birthday on Saturday. On Thursday, she gave her blessing to her 69-year-old son during a speech at the formal opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held at the ballroom at Buckingham Palace.
"As another birthday approaches this week, I am reminded of the extraordinary journey we have been on, and how much good has been achieved," the queen shared. "It remains a great pleasure and honor to serve you as Head of the Commonwealth and to observe, with pride and satisfaction, that this is a flourishing network."
"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 [George VI] in 1949," she continued. "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."
Charles also took the stage to express how important the Commonwealth has been in his life. "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," he explained.
In more royal news, Prince Harry is gearing up for his May 19 wedding with Meghan Markle. Hear the latest on their upcoming nuptials in the video below.
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