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Soldiers of the Coldstream Guards carry flags of Commonwealth countries outside Buckingham Palace in London.

PA Images via Reuters

What is the Commonwealth?

She wasn’t just queen of the United Kingdom. The late Elizabeth II was also the leader of the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of 56 independent countries, the majority of which were once part of the British Empire. This includes 14 that continue to have the sovereign as their head of state.

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Queen Elizabeth's Death May Change the UK | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Queen Elizabeth's death marks turning point for the UK

Carl Bildt, former prime minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on European politics from Chelm, in Eastern Poland.

The death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, is of course, a major, major event for the United Kingdom and for the world. She was really the last remaining link with an imperial past, with a turbulent and dramatic period for her country, and she gave it stability during a very long period of fundamental change. It will be another country as it enters the reign of King Charles III.

Remembering Queen Elizabeth II | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Remembering Queen Elizabeth II

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Queen Elizabeth II, the longest serving monarch in UK history and virtually in world history, is no longer with us. Queen Elizabeth has reigned under 15 prime ministers, starting with Churchill. And in this time, the United Kingdom went from global power and industrial powerhouse to a post-European middle power. She's lived through and reigned through the legacy of colonialism, the end of British Empire, and now of course the end of the UK in Europe. The death of the Queen and her succession will dominate the news, certainly across the UK and the Commonwealth for some time. It's going to overshadow the arrival of Liz Truss as prime minister and all of her major economic announcements.

There's a lot to say here. Queen Elizabeth has long been seen as the single most popular figure in Britain, and her death will undoubtedly be received with enormous sadness by a public that's been battered by two years of COVID crisis, on top of shambolic Brexit process, massive domestic political scandals, independence movements, particularly in Scotland. And on top of that, now an enormous cost of living crisis that's worse than any other G7 economy. So, it's not hit the UK at an opportune time at all. And the impact of her death really on the public mood should not be underestimated, given that the Queen has long been seen as a beacon of stability in the United Kingdom in an uncertain and very volatile world.

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Annie Gugliotta

Graphic truth: Watch the throne — monarchies around the world

Former Spanish King Juan Carlos I's decision to leave the country after being investigated for corruption has reignited the debate over the future of the monarchy in Spain. Opinions are divided between mostly older Spaniards who defend the institution's role as a symbol of national unity, and the younger generations and nationalist regions who want Spain to become a republic. More than three quarters of the world's countries are now republics, but 44 still have a king or queen as their head of state — among them the 16 Commonwealth countries officially ruled by British Queen Elizabeth II and 5 countries where the sovereign is all-powerful. We take a look at which countries remain monarchies today.

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