London, England (TDN)
Just three days after the death of Queen Elizabeth, King Charles has met with Baroness Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General at Buckingham Palace.
This was the King’s first official meeting since the passing of the queen and it signalled his interest in developing his own relationship with the organisation that was highly esteemed by the queen, but which is undergoing its own challenges.
On Thursday, the King became head of state of 14 countries outside the United Kingdom, namely: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. Eight of the 14 are Caribbean countries.
Following the Queen’s death, Antigua announced its intention to put to a public vote whether the King would continue as its head of state. Jamaica and Australia have also announced a willingness to do the same. Just last year, Barbados rejected the Queen as its head of state.
King Charles is taking over a much smaller number of countries compared to the queen, who became head of state of 33 countries following her accession to the throne in 1952.
The King is also head of the 56 member Commonwealth made up largely of former colonies. The meeting with the Commonwealth Secretary General is being widely viewed as the King’s intention to strengthen the relationship with the organisation.
At the meeting with the King, Baroness Scotland expressed optimism about the future of the Commonwealth under King Charles III but noted that she was expecting to have “challenging conversations,” going forward.