Showing posts with label monarchy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monarchy. Show all posts

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Barbados Abolishes its Monarchy, Firing Queen Elizabeth

Map countries with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, which are known as the Commonwealth realms. Includes the UK, Canada, Australia, and a number of small countries in Oceania and the Caribbean. Also shows former Commonwealth realms, including large parts of Africa and South Asia. Colorblind accessible.
Updated map of the Commonwealth realms (independent countries that share the monarchy with Britain). Click to enlarge. Contact us for permission to use this map.
 

Map showing the location of Barbados in the eastern Caribbean. A string of islands extends east from Cuba then south to the northern edge of South America, with the island of Barbados located off to the east side of the string near the southern end.
Location of Barbados in the eastern Caribbean (circled, at far right). Public domain graphic (source).
Barbados Stops Being a Commonwealth Realm

As long-time readers of PolGeoNow know, Queen Elizabeth II isn't just the queen of England and the UK, but also reigns separately over quite a few other countries known as the "Commonwealth realms". 

Until Tuesday, there were 16 independent countries recognizing Elizabeth II as their queen. But now, after the legislature of Caribbean island country Barbados voted to remove the monarchy from its constitution - effective November 30, 2021 - that number has fallen to just 15.

Queen Elizabeth's 15 Countries: The Commonwealth Realms

Did you know Elizabeth II isn't just the Queen of England and the larger UK, but of 14 other independent countries? If that statement just raises more questions for you, read on for all the answers...

Map countries with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state, which are known as the Commonwealth realms. Includes the UK, Canada, Australia, and a number of small countries in Oceania and the Caribbean. Also shows former Commonwealth realms, including large parts of Africa and South Asia. Colorblind accessible.
Map of the Commonwealth realms (independent countries that share the monarchy with Britain). Click to enlarge. Contact us for permission to use this map.

 

This article, originally from 2012, has been revised and updated for the abolition of Barbados's monarchy in November 2021, which reduced the number of countries Queen Elizabeth II reigns over from 16 to 15.

Which countries does Queen Elizabeth reign over?

You might be surprised to learn that Queen Elizabeth II is the official queen of 15 different independent countries. Those countries are together known as the "Commonwealth realms" - a smaller subset of the Commonwealth of Nations, which also includes many queenless republics. Every one of the 15 Commonwealth realms is considered a fully-fledged independent country and a member of the UN, despite sharing the same monarch. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

All About Swaziland's Name Change (With Maps)

Topographic map of Eswatini (Swaziland), showing terrain, rivers, bordering countries, and capital cities.
Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland. Based on this map by Htonl and NordNordWest.

Swaziland's New Name

If you follow PolGeoNow on Twitter, you already know that the small, southern African country of Swaziland was renamed "Eswatini" this April. The full English name of the country, previously "Kingdom of Swaziland", has also been changed to "Kingdom of Eswatini".

The rename was first announced by the country's king on April 19 - his 50th birthday. (Some media incorrectly reported that April 19 was also Swaziland's 50th anniversary of independence. The country is indeed celebrating its 50th this year, but the actual day of the anniversary is September 6.)

The change was apparently effective immediately: A purported copy of the legal order making the new name official, also dated April 19, was posted on a Swaziland news blog in May, with some validation from other sources.

Friday, March 15, 2013

What is Vatican City?

This week, the Catholic Church chose a new leader, Pope Francis. The selection and announcement of the new pope took place in Vatican City, the Church's sovereign territory within Rome. Is Vatican City really "the world's smallest country", or a country at all?  And what's the difference between Vatican City and the Holy See? Read all about it!


Large scale (close-up) map of Vatican City
Map of Vatican City (click to enlarge). By Francesco Piraneo G./Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SAsource).
What is Vatican City?

Vatican City was created by the Lateran Treaty in 1929 to ensure the Catholic Church's independence from the control of other countries, and has an area of only about 0.17 sq mi (0.44 sq km), or about one-eighth the size of Central Park in New York. In addition to the Pope, the state said to have a population of about 800, most of whom are either clergy or members of the Swiss Guard.

Located within the city of Rome, Vatican City is surrounded on all sides by Italy, and nearly encircled by a stone city wall except for in St. Peter's Square, where it is separated from Italy only by a white line drawn on the ground. Various religious and administrative buildings are located within Vatican City's confines, but more than half of its area is taken up by the green space of the Vatican Gardens.