The Queen and representatives from the Commonwealth's 54 members met in London today to celebrate Commonwealth Day.
As you know, most of the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations were once colonies in the British Empire. This is the first empire in the world whose colonies became free and formed a free association with their former ruler.
The members include the United Kingdom, India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Papua New Guinea, St Christopher and Nevis, the Bahamas, South Africa, Nigeria, and Pakistan and forty other countries. The members have a combined population of 2.1 billion people, about a third of the world's population.
Many of these countries are parliamentary democracies and constitutional monarchies with The Queen as Sovereign. All of them recognize The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. They are a free and voluntary association, and they are trading partners.
The word wealth is a newer version of the Old English word weal. Weal and wealth once meant the prosperity and well being of the community as a whole. We hope to see more weal being created in future.
Cat adds that tomorrow will see a post on The British Raj, Decay, a book by Elisabeth Beckett, edited by John Wrake, which presents a unique and fascinating account of the British in India.