Queen Elizabeth II turned up the dial on her once quiet activism for Prince Charles to succeed her as head of the Commonwealth Thursday, telling leaders of its 53 member states that the 69-year-old has her full support. In what the Telegraph describes as "an unusually explicit statement of her views," the Queen opened the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at London's Buckingham Palace by expressing her "sincere wish" that leaders would choose her firstborn child to "one day" take the job. That doesn't mean Charles, the clear favorite, is a shoo-in. Though the Prince of Wales is to inherit the British crown with his mother's death, it's up to the leaders of Commonwealth member nations, from Canada to Rwanda, to choose who will lead them, reports the BBC.
As symbolic figurehead of the Commonwealth, the Queen will be left out of discussions during the two-day meeting, in which topics like trade, cyber security, and ocean conservation are also to be discussed. Specifically, British Prime Minister Theresa May says she'll be "rallying" nations to take a stand against marine plastics, per the BBC. A decision on the next head of the Commonwealth is expected Friday, a day before the Queen turns 92. Charles didn't campaign in his own address to leaders Thursday but he did describe the Commonwealth as "a fundamental feature of my life for as long as I can remember," per People. He added his hope that the meeting would "revitalize the bonds between our countries" and "give the Commonwealth a renewed relevance" to its 2.4 billion citizens.