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Countries > Commonwealth
The Commonwealth of Nations - formerly the "British Commonwealth" - is a voluntary association of 54 independent sovereign states, most of which are former British Colonies, or dependencies of these colonies with three exceptions; Mozambique (which was a Portuguese possession), Rwanda (which was a Belgian Mandate) and Cameroon (which is a union of a French mandate and a British mandate), plus the United Kingdom itself.
The Commonwealth's membership includes both republics and monarchies. The head of the Commonwealth of Nations is Queen Elizabeth II. She also reigns as monarch directly in a number of states, known as Commonwealth realms, notably the United Kingdom, Australia, Barbados, Canada, Jamaica and New Zealand. The Commonwealth of Nations is sometimes referred to as the New Commonwealth in a British context.
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The countries that make up (or who have made up) the Commonwealth are:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- St Christopher, St Kitts & Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago