World leaders back Charles to succeed Queen as head of Commonwealth

World leaders have announced that the Prince of Wales will be the next leader of the Commonwealth after the Queen.

In a statement issued at the end of their two-day summit, the presidents and prime ministers confirmed what had been widely anticipated - Charles would follow in the footsteps of his mother and grandfather and lead the family of nations.

In their leaders' statement, the 53 member countries said: "We recognise the role of the Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples.

"The next head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales."

Their decision was made during discussions at Windsor Castle earlier, and follows a personal appeal from the Queen to world leaders on Thursday to choose her son for the role.

During the opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, she told them it was her "sincere wish" that the family of nations would one day decide the prince should carry on the Commonwealth work started by her father King George VI.