Commonwealth leaders are meeting in London. Here are seven things about this club of nations that you might not know.
1- It’s home to almost one-third of the world’s population
About 2.4 billion people - out of 7.4 billion globally - live in the Commonwealth’s 53 countries. And most of them are under the age of 30.
2 - Some members were never part of the British Empire
Rwanda and Mozambique became members in 2009 and 1995 respectively, and neither has a British colonial past or constitutional link.
3 - The Queen is head of state in only 16 of the countries
Most of the Commonwealth states are republics and six - Lesotho, Swaziland, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Samoa and Tonga - have their own monarch.
4- It’s rather big
The Commonwealth makes up a quarter of the world’s land mass.
The giant of the group is Canada, the world’s second largest country. India and Australia are huge too. But many of the states are small - like the Pacific island nations of Nauru, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu, and Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean.
5- It changed its name
The modern Commonwealth was formed in 1949, after "British" was dropped from the name and allegiance to the Crown was removed from its statute. Only two people have been head of the organisation - King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II. But it’s not a hereditary role, although the Prince of Wales is widely expected to take it up when he becomes king.
当“英国的”从该名字中被删除并且对王室的效忠被从其法规中删除之后，现代英联邦于1949年成立。只有两个人是该组织的负责人 - 乔治六世国王和伊丽莎白女王二世。但这不是一个世袭的角色，虽然普遍猜测认为，当威尔斯王子成为国王后，他会接管负责人角色。
6- The UK still has the biggest Commonwealth economy… just
India could claim number one spot soon - possibly as early as this year.
The combined GDP of the 53 countries is USD 10tn. That’s nearly as big as China’s (USD 11tn) but some way behind that of the United States, on USD 19tn .
7- There’s more than one commonwealth
Don’t forget the International Organisation of La Francophonie - a group of French-speaking countries. And there’s the Commonwealth of Independent States, which was set up in 1991 by former members of the Soviet Union.
不要忘记法语国家组织La Francophonie - 一个说法语的国家组合。独立国家联邦也存在，这是由前苏联成员于1991年成立的。