The modern Commonwealth of Nations, whose official head is the Queen, has 53 independent sovereign states as members, most of whom were once part of the British Empire.
Today around a third of the world’s population lives in its member countries – 2.2 billion people of varied races, languages and beliefs. They range from the largest, India, with a population of 1.3 billion, to Nauru – an island in the Pacific – with just over 11,000. Each member nation is regarded as equal, no matter their size or wealth.
The Commonwealth champions democracy, economic development and human rights. It is a way of nations keeping in touch informally, through friendship and strong historical links.
During the First World War, Britain turned to the Empire for assistance – including New Zealand, India, the West Indies, Australia, Canada and South Africa. Vast resources, especially manpower, was needed. Tens of thousands sacrificed their…
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