Transformation of Relations among the Commonwealth
- The death of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, the country’s longest serving ruler, who reigned for over 70 years, marks not only the end of an era for the British monarchy, but also a turning point for the 14 Commonwealth realms of which she was the Head of State.
- The Commonwealth consists of both republics and realms.
- The Commonwealth realm is a group of 14 countries (not including the United Kingdom) that recognise the British monarch as their head of state — a position that is explicitly stated in the constitution and laws of some of these countries.
The member countries include:
- Canada, Australia, and New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.
- Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- The Commonwealth of Nations is a group of 56 countries comprised mostly of former British colonies.
- Members of the Commonwealth are predominantly located in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific, with many of them emerging economies, the three European members of the group are Cyprus, Malta, and the U.K.
- Even if the situation is changing vis-à-vis the realms and their Heads of State, the broader Commonwealth group, of which India and other South Asian countries are members, remains strong and fosters policy coordination among its members through its Heads of Government Meetings.
- But there are apprehensions around the world with respect to the relations with UK for the former colonies, there are certain examples to substantiate this.
- During Queen’s visit to India in 1997, there was demand for apology for the Jallianwalla Bagh Massacre and also recently in March 2022, King Charles’ son and now heir to the throne, Prince William, his wife, Kate, and other royals faced demonstrations and demands for reparations for slavery while on a tour of the Caribbean that also witnessed several gaffes and awkward moments by the visitors from the U.K.
Are other realms joining Barbados?
- Barbados, which in 2021 became the 18th country to remove the British monarch from the role of head of state and substitute them with a national government functionary, this is set to repeat in other realms as well.
- This is evident in countries such as Australis where popular movements have taken place to reposition the country as a Republic.
Source The Hindu