The Commonwealth, formerly known as the British Commonwealth, has origins that date back centuries, but the current version goes back nearly 100 years. The association had been under the jurisdiction of the queen for most of its existence, and while King Charles III’s reign has begun, it doesn’t mean he will be head.
The CW is a voluntary association of countries around the world that were once part of the British Empire.
According to its website, the goal of the association is to “support member governments, and partner with the broader Commonwealth family and others, to improve the well-being of all Commonwealth citizens and to advance their shared interests globally.”
When Was The Commonwealth Formed?
The association was formed in 1926 as part of the Balfour Declaration of 1926 and is one of the oldest political organizations in the world. It predates the United Nations and NATO.
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The goal of the declaration was to form a union in which all countries once under British rule were treated equally, with all countries pledging allegiance to the British king or queen.
What Countries Are Part Of The Commonwealth?
There are 56 countries in the association, and one can be found on each continent except Antarctica. There are:
- 21 African countries.
- 13 Caribbean and American countries.
- 11 Pacific Island countries.
- 8 Asian countries.
- 3 European countries.
The countries include Canada, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand. The full list of countries can be found here.
The smallest member is the Pacific nation of Nauru, population 10,000; The largest is India, population 1.4 billion. In total, there are 2.5 billion people in the Commonwealth.
Who Is Head Of The Commonwealth?
It makes sense to think Charles is now head of the Commonwealth, but technically he isn’t – yet. The head of the Commonwealth is not determined by family lineage. It must be chosen by the CW leaders.