Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Professor Philip Murphy spoke to Express.co.uk about the future of the Commonwealth and how Prince Charles will settle into the head role. Professor Murphy explained the Royal Family’s involvement in the Commonwealth – and how monarchs become the head of the organisation – is “convenient” as there exist big question marks over how the group would rotate leadership among the 54 members. The royal expert admitted it was fortunate for the Royal Family to take leadership in this way as otherwise, nations with questionable governments may abuse the position and power they have over other members.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Professor Murphy was asked if there would be any alternatives to the Royal Family not leading the Commonwealth should they ever be abolished.
He explained: “One of the reasons that the Commonwealth decided that Charles should be the next head of the Commonwealth is that there’s never been a clear way forward with what to do if the head wasn’t the British monarch.
“So various schemes have been discussed over the years about a rotating headship.
“But then, with 54 members of the Commonwealth, even if a nation had the headship for a couple of years some would have to wait for 100 years to get around to it.
“And what about some of the less savoury members of the Commonwealth becoming Commonwealth head.
“So, if you’re going to have a head of the Commonwealth then it probably will remain the British monarch.
“But you could get rid of that position altogether and really put the leadership and headship of the organisation in the Secretary-General.
“Who is elected every four years and that would be another option.”
Professor Murphy also told Express.co.uk that the Commonwealth has “huge admiration” of the Queen and are unlikely swayed by the allegations levelled against the Royal Family by Prince Harry.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down with Oprah Winfrey to discuss their time in the Royal Family where they explained their mental health issues as well as allegations of racism over baby Archie’s skin tone.
The Duke of Sussex also told Oprah he was financially cut off in the first quarter of 2020 but recent royal finance reports question the legitimacy of those claims as they show money being given to Harry until summer 2020.
Subsequently, Prince Harry has appeared on the Armchair Expert podcast where he said Prince Charles passed on his “trauma” onto his children due to the upbringing he had under the Queen and Prince Philip.
Professor Murphy told Express.co.uk: “I think it’s unlikely that [those claims] will have done any sort of long-term damage and I think it’s played much more strongly in the United States and particularly the issues around race.
“And I think that you’ve got to understand there is a huge amount of affection for the Queen personally across the Commonwealth.
“There’s a very justified feeling that the way the Queen has behaved in the Commonwealth context, she has really avoided accusations of racism personally.