The Commonwealth has begun discussions to decide who might succeed the Queen as its head, it has been reported.
A "high level group" of seven former Commonwealth ministers will meet in London to review how the international organization of 53 member states is run, the BBC reports. According to senior sources, those at the gathering will also consider who should take over from Queen when she dies.
Although the Prince of Wales will inherit the throne,the Queen's role as Head of the Commonwealth is not hereditary and will not pass automatically to her son.
The agenda for the all-day meeting, seen by the BBC, says there will be a discussion of "wider governance considerations" which is said to be code for the succession.
One source said: "I imagine the question of the succession, however distasteful it may naturally be, will come up."
A second source added that the issue is likely to be discussed by Commonwealth leaders when they meet without officials "on retreat" at Windsor Castle.
The group is expected to report their suggestions to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London this April.
The BBC's report adds that the Queen, who turns 92 this year, is supporting Prince Charles to succeed her. At the last CHOGM in 2015, the monarch said that she could not "wish to have been better supported and represented in the Commonwealth than by the Prince of Wales who continues to give so much to it with great distinction".
The Queen became Head of the Commonwealth on her accession in 1952. "The Queen’s role carries no formal functions, but has great symbolic significance and has helped to underline the sense of the Commonwealth as a family of nations," The Commonwealth Network states. In addition to the UK, 15 Commonwealth nations the Queen as their Head of State, including Australia and Canada.