Commonwealth countries in full – and the ones that might break away

Prince William will ‘strengthen the Commonwealth’ says Zahawi

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Queen Elizabeth II has presided over some of the most tremendous social and cultural changes during her 70-year reign. But she hasn’t just witnessed the far-reaching evolutions of the United Kingdom, but has also presided over considerable development and change in Commonwealth countries across the world.

Based on free and voluntary cooperation, the 54-member organisation represents about a quarter of the world’s population, with the vast majority being former British colonies.

Some members are reconsidering their membership of the group, particularly after Barbados finalised its decision to remove the Queen as head of state in November 2021.

The country even elected its first president during a ceremony witnessed by Prince Charles.

There is also the question of what could happen to the Commonwealth when the Queen eventually dies, and whether this could spur on further decisions to break away from the union.

Which countries are considering removing Queen as head of state?

Jamaica could follow in the same footsteps – Jamaica’s prime minister Andrew Holness suggested to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge that his country may be the next to become a republic when the couple visited.

Earlier this year, as part of a tour of the region, Prince William said he would support with “pride and respect” any Caribbean country that would like to break away from the Commonwealth.

The future king said: “Next year, I know you are all looking forward to celebrating fifty years of independence – your Golden Anniversary.

“And with Jamaica celebrating 60 years of independence this year, and Belize celebrating 40 years of independence last year, I want to say this: We support with pride and respect your decisions about your future. Relationships evolve. Friendship endures.”

Belize is also said to be considering a bid for independence from the Commonwealth.

Henry Charles Usher, minister for constitutional and political reform, told Belize’s parliament in March 2022: “The decolonisation process is enveloping the Caribbean region.

“Perhaps it is time for Belize to take the next step in truly owning our independence. But it is a matter that the people of Belize must decide on.”

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The Commonwealth states are:

Antigua and Barbuda
Australia
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belize
Botswana
Brunei
Cameroon
Canada
Cyprus
Darussalam
Dominica
Fiji Islands
Ghana
Grenada St Kitts and Nevis
Guyana
India
Jamaica
Kenya
Kiribati
Lesotho

Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Mauritius
Mozambique
Namibia
Nauru
New Zealand
Nigeria
Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
Rwanda
Samoa
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Sri Lanka
St Lucia
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Swaziland
The Bahamas
The Gambia
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tuvalu
Uganda
United Kingdom
United Republic of Tanzania
Vanuatu
Zambia
Zimbabwe

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