28 April 1949: The London Declaration: Commonwealth of Nations

ID: 194904280917

The London Declaration was a declaration issued by the 1949 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference on the issue of India's continued membership in the Commonwealth of Nations after its transition to a republican constitution. It was made in London on 28 April 1949 and marked the birth of the modern Commonwealth. The declaration had two main provisions: It allowed the Commonwealth to admit and retain members that were not Dominions, so including both republics and indigenous monarchies, and it changed the name of the organisation from the British Commonwealth to the Commonwealth of Nations, reflecting the first change. The Declaration recognised King George VI as Head of the Commonwealth. Following his death, the Commonwealth leaders recognised Queen Elizabeth II in that capacity.

The London Declaration
The Governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New
Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan and Ceylon, whose countries are
united as Members of the British Commonwealth of Nations and owe a
common allegiance to the Crown, which is also the symbol of their free
association, have considered the impending constitutional changes in
The Government of India have informed the other Governments of the
Commonwealth of the intention of the Indian people that under the new
constitution which is about to be adopted India shall become a sovereign
independent republic. The Government of India have however declared
and affirmed India’s desire to continue her full membership of the
Commonwealth of Nations and her acceptance of The King as the symbol
of the free association of its independent member nations and as such the
Head of the Commonwealth.
The Governments of the other countries of the Commonwealth, the basis
of whose membership of the Commonwealth is not hereby changed,
accept and recognise India’s continuing membership in accordance with
the terms of this declaration.
Accordingly the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
South Africa, India, Pakistan and Ceylon hereby declare that they remain
united as free and equal members of the Commonwealth of Nations,
freely co-operating in the pursuit of peace, liberty and progress.
26 April 1949

Land: GBR