The Commonwealth realms portal
Current commonwealth realms
No longer commonwealth realms
A Commonwealth realm
is a sovereign state
within the Commonwealth of Nations
that has Elizabeth II
as its monarch
and head of state
. The sixteen current realms
have a combined land area of 18.8 million km² (7.3 million mi², excluding Antarctic
claims), and a population of 134 million; all but about two million live in the six most populous
states: the United Kingdom
, Papua New Guinea
, New Zealand
, and Jamaica
Fourteen of the current and all former realms were once British colonies that evolved into independent states, the exceptions being the United Kingdom (UK) itself and Papua New Guinea, which was formed in 1975 as a union of the former German New Guinea—administered by Australia as an international trusteeship before independence—and the former British New Guinea—legally the territory of Papua, administered for the UK by Australia since 1905. The first realms to emerge were colonies that had already previously attained the status of a self-governing Dominion within the British Empire.
For a time, the older term of Dominion was retained to refer to these non-British realms, even though their actual status had changed with the granting of full legislative independence. The word is still sometimes used today, though increasingly rarely, as the word realm was formally introduced with Britain's proclamation of Elizabeth II as queen in 1952 and acquired legal status with the adoption of the modern royal styles and titles by the individual countries. The qualified term Commonwealth realm is not official, and has not been used in law; rather, it is a term of convenience for distinguishing this group of realms from other countries in the Commonwealth that do not share the same monarch.
Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, born 21 April 1926) is the reigning queen and head of state of 16 independent sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. In addition, as Head of the Commonwealth, she is the figurehead of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations and, as the British monarch, she is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. In 1949, George VI became the first Head of the Commonwealth, a symbol of the free association of the independent countries comprising the Commonwealth of Nations. On his death in 1952, Elizabeth became Head of the Commonwealth, and constitutional monarch of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon.
||I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.
- Princess Elizabeth during a broadcast to the Commonwealth.
Select ► to view subcategories'
Commonwealth realms topics
Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:56:14 -0700
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is the wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. The Duke of Cambridge is second in line to the thrones, after his father, of the 16 Commonwealth realms; and the Duchess is expected to eventually become queen consort.
Tue, 18 Jun 2013 08:00:23 -0700
Every year the Queen honours people within the Commonwealth Realms for the exceptional services they have provided as part of her official birthday celebrations. This year's list included Brendan Barber, the former general secretary of the Trades Union ...
Thu, 13 Jun 2013 11:51:35 -0700
Kate Middleton married Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. The Duke of Cambridge is second in line to the thrones, after his father, of the 16 Commonwealth realms; and the Duchess is expected to eventually become queen consort. Prince William and Kate ...
Sun, 09 Jun 2013 23:56:18 -0700
Canada could cause a constitutional nightmare, it is reported today, by halting new legislation that would mean the country (and the other Commonwealth Realms) would have to wait over 5 years whilst Canada's Quebec Superior Court deals with the case ...
artsHub Australia (subscription)
Wed, 12 Jun 2013 17:12:55 -0700
It is presented by the reigning monarch or head of state (currently Queen Elizabeth II) under the Commonwealth Realms Honours System. Here is a full list of people in the Honours List, who have made significant contributions to the arts community ...
Celebrity Dirty Laundry
Mon, 10 Jun 2013 08:20:51 -0700
This was all brought into law in Britain in April but will not come into force unless all 16 commonwealth realms agree to the same changes. It seemed to be a slam dunk until Canadian professors, Genevieve Motard and Patrick Taillon lodged a formal ...
Fri, 31 May 2013 21:47:20 -0700
The honours are part of the British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and other Commonwealth Realms Honours Systems as a civic occasion on the celebration of the reigning monarch's birthday. Honours have been awarded on the monarch's birthday ...
Sun, 09 Jun 2013 18:46:57 -0700
Being quintessentially British one would imagine such a ceremony would be unique to the United Kingdom however Australia, one of Her Majesty's Commonwealth realms hold their very own Trooping of the Colour ceremony each and every year also.
Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter
You can talk about Commonwealth realms with people all over the world in our discussions.