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The Commonwealth of Nations is a multinational group of countries that still recognize the monarchs of the former United Kingdom as Head of State, which is currently Queen Elizabeth II. These nations are Australasia, Newfoundland, South Africa, and Scotland. Only one other nation recognizes the Queen of the Commonwealth as Head of State, but the nations of the Commonwealth does not recognize, is the Sorelist dictatorship of England.
The four countries of the Commonwealth of Nations were once part of the British Empire, which at one point covered a fifth of the world's surface. After the defeat of Britain in the Second Global War, discontent in the Dominions over having their foreign policy decided in London with no input from the Dominions lead to a series of conferences in the 1920s and 1930s that eventually saw Britain surrender much of its control over the dominions to the governments established there. While all the nations still shared a monarch and a similar system of democratic government, tensions between the homeland and colonies grew; British citizens believed that if the colonies and dominions were more supportive they could have won the war, while the dominions saw the lost war as a primarily European conflict that was enormously expensive to the colonies for the lack of governance and rights they were given. The rise of the Imperial Socialist Party in Britain lead to increasing tensions with the dominions as John Beckett tried to establish a stronger grip over the Empire. Only Canada, as the "premiere" Dominion, allied themselves with the Imperial Socialist Party, and only as the Canadian Civil War broke out in 1937. When Britain entered the Third Global War, Australasia and South Africa refused to join.
Prime Minister Lionel Logue, facing a political crisis with monarchists in Australasia demanding they support King Edward VIII, no matter the politics, and isolationists and liberals that wanted to keep out of the war (or, at least, not on the side of the National Socialist Britain), decided instead to take a third route. Visiting Prince Albert in November 1940, Prime Minister Logue asked Albert to accept being named the monarch of "a commonwealth of free constitutional monarchies." While hesitant at first, partially because of his pronounced stammer and his shy nature, eventually he was convinced, in no small part because of his wife Princess Elizabeth, to take the crown as King of Australasia.
The Act of Monarchy 1941 was quickly passed in Australasia's parliament, and given assent by the Governor General of Australasia, Sir Peter Fraser, on 19 March 1941 as his last official act before King George VI would take his regal place in Australasia. This law broke all ties to the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and King Edward VIII, and establishing George VI and his family as the House of Windsor, named after the castle and royal palace north of London, as the new rulers of Australasia. Other nobility figures that had also fled England were given regal titles in Australasia, though these are all honorary, and gives no legal right or privilege. Peerages for the former House of Lords are still recognized, but Australasia refused to reform the second chamber of Parliament into a new House of Lords, and now the Lords is seen as more a social club than a political body. The first act that King George VI was to sign as King was the Neutrality Act of 1941. However, before he could, the Hong Kong Crisis with National Socialist China quickly escalated out of control, leading to a declaration of war.On 1 June, 1941, the Dominion of South Africa, lead by Prime Minister J. B. M. Hertzog, passed a similar act, naming King George VI as the King of South Africa. South Africa and Australasia established the Commonwealth of Nations in 1943, recognizing their "shared heritage of imperialism, governance, monarchy and ideals." When American troops invaded the island of Newfoundland in June 1944, resistance leader Joseph "Joey" Smallwood declared Newfoundland as a "reformed dominion," naming King George VI as their monarch. Newfoundland was later expanded in the peace that followed to include Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Newfoundland joined the Commonwealth in 1945
The liberation of Scotland in Fall of 1944 lead to the establishment of the Kingdom of Scotland by Alexander Fleming, and King George VI being acknowledged as the King of Scotland, and they promptly joined the Commonwealth of Nations. Ireland, liberated before Scotland, proclaimed itself a republic, and cut all ties with the British monarchy and refused to join the Commonwealth of Nations. Quebec, after a heated debate, rejected membership into the Commonwealth as well. Other colonies of Britain were taken over by France, and therefore would not be allowed to join the Commonwealth.
When England was established by General Bernard Montgomery in 1945, Montgomery declared that England was still a constitutional monarchy, and they recognized King George VI as the head of the nation. However, as the government became increasingly dictatorial and Sorelist, King George VI refused to be crowned as King of England. It is said that when Montgomery sent an emissary to George to ask to become King and to allow England to join the Commonwealth, King George said; "I may be a Constitutional Monarch, but England has no constitution, and therefore no monarch."King George VI passed away in January 1954, and his daughter, Princess Elizabeth, would take the throne as Queen Elizabeth II. In a new development, the Queen decided that she would be individually crowned in each capital of the Commonwealth, to establish her place as Head of State and forge closer ties. One 8 June, 1954, she was first crowned in Sydney, before flying to Scotland to be crowned in Edinburgh on 10 October, 1954. She was in Pretoria, South Africa for 10 February 1955 to be crowned, and she was last crowned in Newfoundland on 30 April, 1955. Since this time, Queen Elizabeth II and her family have made it a point to visit all the realms as often as possible. The Queen visit at least one Commonwealth nation a year, with the heir to the throne Prince Charles and his siblings Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward filing in the gap. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, until her death in 2003, traveled widely and was a major symbol of the Commonwealth. Now in her late 80s, the Queen has announced that she will be unable to continue visiting the other realms, but remains active in Australasia.
South Africa had always been seen as a "black sheep" amongst the Commonwealth for it's racist attitudes to the majority black Africans that lived in the nation, especially after the horrors of the Third Global War. However, it wasn't until Queen Elizabeth II's first visit in 1955 to be crowned, and her interactions with African "residents" embarrassed Prime Minister Sir Jan Smuts, hero of South Africa's involvement in the Third Global War, and the downfall of his government in 1956. Harry Schwarz, leader of the opposition Unity Party, came to power in the next election, and over the opposition of the white British and Afrikaner establishment, abolished legalized racism and discrimination. While blacks in South Africa are still poorer compared to whites, they've made enormous political, cultural and economic strides since. Queen Elizabeth II, when asked on her Diamond Jubilee in January 2014, said the end of offical racism in South Africa would be her "greatest achievement."
The Commonwealth Nations, while strong allies with the US and other Juneau Pact nations, are also recognized as peacemakers, helping resolve issues and sending peacekeepers to trouble spots in Africa, Asia and South America when the Great Powers couldn't or wouldn't get involved.