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Turnbull supports Charles for Commonwealth

Angus Livingston, AAP Senior Political Reporter
Australia is backing the Prince of Wales to lead the Commonwealth after the Queen

Malcolm Turnbull wants an Australian republic, but still supports staying in the Commonwealth under future monarch Prince Charles.

Leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London are expected on Friday to confirm the Prince of Wales will take over as head of the organisation after the death of Queen Elizabeth.

"Australia, as you know, strongly supports the continuation of the king or queen of the United Kingdom as the head of the Commonwealth," Mr Turnbull told reporters in London on Thursday.

"Prince Charles in time will succeed his mother."

While Mr Turnbull once led the campaign for Australia to become a republic, he said there was no inconsistency with wanting a British monarch to run the Commonwealth.

"Most countries in the Commonwealth are in fact republics," he said.

Instead he said there was strong support for the ceremonial role Queen Elizabeth has played as head of the Commonwealth since 1952.

"She's provided that leadership for nearly 70 years, it has been remarkable," he said.

"Spanning so many decades, so many leaders, so many chapters of history.

"The head of the Commonwealth, which is a ceremonial role, a role of honour rather than one of political authority, that role I think should continue, and this is the very widespread view, with the Queen's successor."

The Queen used her speech at the official opening of the meeting on Thursday to ask leaders to recommend Charles for the CHOGM leadership.