How did the Commonwealth emerge from the British Empire

54 member states

In 2021, the Commonwealth of Nations will have 54 non-binding member states bound only by shared values ​​- and in most cases, their past as British colonies.

During the more than 70 years of its existence, the Commonwealth has experienced great volatility among its members. Ireland left the organization when it was in 1949 Officially of the Republic had become. Other countries like Fiji and Nigeria became part of the Commonwealth during the times when they were under authoritarian rule close. Mozambique and Rwanda are the only two countries that joined without prior historical links with the British Empire.

Many countries such as Barbados, Cyprus and Singapore joined the Commonwealth after gaining independence from Great Britain in the second half of the twentieth century. Papua New Guinea became a member after secession from the former Dominion of Australia. Following the example of India, most of the new member states decided not to swear allegiance.

However, there are still some members who recognize Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. The countries that make up the Commonwealth of Nations belongs to, are Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and of course Great Britain itself.

The role of the British monarchy

British monarchs are not automatically heads of Commonwealth countries. Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father, King George VI. On the British throne, the Presidency of the Commonwealth is not a hereditary position, but is appointed by the member states. in 2018 announce The organization that Prince Charles will take over from his mother, but this does not necessarily have to apply to the British monarchs who will succeed him.

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Since the work of the organization is centrally controlled and supervised, the role of the chair has a symbolic nature. The Queen’s mission is to strengthen relations between the member states by making regular royal visits.

Gallery: Queen Elizabeth’s record in 14 photos

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