Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State of the United Kingdom and of 15 Commonwealth Countries:
- New Zealand
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- St Christopher and Nevis
- St Lucia
- The Solomon Islands
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Papua New Guinea
The Queen and the Commonwealth
The Commonwealth was established over 60 years ago and today comprises of over 50 countries, many of which were at one time under British rule.
A British Sovereign – King George VI, Elizabeth’s father – was first appointed Head of the Commonwealth in 1949.
On the death of her father in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II was appointed Head of the Commonwealth.
Every year The Queen is responsible for making a Commonwealth Day address, which is broadcast around the world.
Recent Commonwealth Events
In 2009, the Commonwealth celebrated 60 years and in a speech to mark the occasion, Queen Elizabeth II observed:
“We can rightly celebrate the fact that the founding members’ vision of the future has become a reality. The Commonwealth has evolved out of all recognition from its beginning. It has helped give birth to modern nations, and the eight original countries have become fifty-three. We are now home to nearly two billion people, a third of the world’s population. Across continents and oceans, we have come to represent all the rich diversity of humankind.”
The Commonwealth Games were last held in October 201o in New Delhi, India – the event is an opportunity for young people from all over the world to come together in friendly competition.
In October 2011 the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was held in Perth, Western Australia. The Queen attended the proceedings.
Main Image: Monday 14 March 2011, Queen Elizabeth II sits at a desk with microphones in Buckingham Palace in central London, after recording her Commonwealth Day address that is broadcast across the world. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire