So just what is the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal sovereign states (listed below).

The Commonwealth is home to 2.4 billion people and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. Thirty-two members are small states, many of which are island nations.

The human symbol of this free association is the Head of the Commonwealth, currently Queen Elizabeth II. At the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Charles, Prince of Wales, was appointed to be her designated successor. However, the position is not technically hereditary. The Queen is the head of state of 16 member states, known as the Commonwealth realms, while 33 other member states are republics, and five others have different monarchs.

Member states have no legal obligations to one another. Instead, they are united by English language, history, culture, and their shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. These principles are inscribed in the Commonwealth Charter.

Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.

As of February 1, 2020 the following countries are members of the Commonwealth:


Botswana Cameroon The Gambia Ghana Kenya
Kingdom of eSwatini Lesotho Malawi Mauritius Mozambique
Namibia Nigeria Rwanda Seychelles Sierra Leone
South Africa Uganda United Republic of Tanzania Zambia


Antigua and Barbuda The Bahamas Barbados Belize Canada
Dominica Grenada Guyana Jamaica Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago


Bangladesh Brunei Darussalam India Malaysia Pakistan
Singapore Sri Lanka The Maldives


Cyprus Malta United Kingdom


Australia Fiji Islands Kiribati Nauru New Zealand
Papua New Guinea Samoa Solomon Islands Tonga Tuvalu