Commonwealth of Nations
Lesson Date : 2018-05-14


  • Commonwealth of Nations
  • The Commonwealth of Nations is an organization of 53 countries.
  • Queen Elizabeth the Second is Britain's monarch or head of state.
  • She is also the leader of the Commonwealth.
  • On April 19, a two-day meeting, or summit, called the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) began.
  • The meeting was held at the Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
  • These historic buildings are Queen Elizabeth's homes.
  • Most leaders of the Commonwealth countries attended the summit.
  • Others sent senior politicians or officials.
  • The CHOGM takes place every two years.
  • This year's summit was late.
  • It should have taken place at the end of last year in Vanuatu, a Pacific Ocean island nation.
  • Yet, before the meeting, Vanuatu was hit by a powerful cyclone.
  • Much of the country's infrastructure and many buildings were destroyed.
  • The meeting was moved to London.
  • Most Commonwealth member countries were previously British colonies.
  • Yet, some former colonies chose not to join.
  • Egypt and Iraq are examples.
  • In recent years some countries have joined the Commonwealth that were not ruled by Britain.
  • These include Rwanda, Cameroon and Mozambique.
  • Several other non-British and previous British colonies have applied to join.
  • To be a Commonwealth member, a country must have a democratic system of government.
  • It should allow free speech, racial equality, believe in free trade and have a desire for world peace.
  • Members that do not follow these rules can be expelled or suspended.
  • In the past, Nigeria, Pakistan, Fiji, and Zimbabwe have all been suspended.
  • In total, the Commonwealth makes up about 20% of the Earth's landmasses.
  • By area, Canada is the biggest.
  • With 18, the African continent has the most member countries.
  • In total, the 53-member nations are home to 2.4 billion people.
  • This is roughly one-third of the world's population.
  • About 60% of them are below 30 years old.
  • India is the member with the largest population.
  • With only about 10,000 people, Nauru is the smallest.
  • The Commonwealth is made up of Hindu, Islamic and Christian nations.
  • Queen Elizabeth is the head of state of 16 Commonwealth nations.
  • These countries are known as Commonwealth realms.
  • Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Jamaica, and Papua New Guinea (PNG) are all Commonwealth realms.
  • Queen Elizabeth is the longest-reigning and longest-lived British king or queen.
  • She is also the world's longest-reigning monarch.
  • So far, her reign has lasted 66 years.
  • The 2015 meeting was in Malta.
  • Queen Elizabeth and her husband attended it.
  • Their son, Prince Charles, and his wife, accompanied them.
  • During the latest London summit, the member countries confirmed that Prince Charles would take over as the Commonwealth's head when his mother dies.
  • Now, due to Queen Elizabeth's age, Charles will take over more of her duties.
  • Britain joined the European Union (EU) in 1973.
  • Then, it was a trading organization.
  • Now, the EU is both a trading and political union.
  • Before joining the EU, Britain mostly traded with Commonwealth countries.
  • Two years ago, most British people voted to leave the EU.
  • The country’s EU membership is due to end in about 12 months’ time.
  • Yet, it will continue to trade with EU member countries.
  • Now, British politicians are planning to increase trade more with Commonwealth nations.
  • At the Heads of Government Meeting, the leaders discussed future trade and how member countries can work more closely together.