So just what is the Commonwealth?

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 53 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-one 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 32 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 2019, the following countries are members of the Commonwealth:

AFRICA: 

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

AMERICAS:

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

ASIA:

Bangladesh
Brunei Darussalam
India
Malaysia
Pakistan
Singapore
Sri Lanka

EUROPE:

Cyprus
Malta
United Kingdom

PACIFIC:

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