A Brief History of the RCS

“A History in Common, a Future in Progress”


The commonwealth is one of the world’s oldest political associations. The group has grown and changed over time, allowing relationships between nation states to evolve throughout. The 52 member states are mostly former British colonies. (Click here for a list of all members).  Due to the long history of the commonwealth, the relationship is more familial than other international official organisations, rather than being an alliance or contractual arrangement. The group encompasses many faiths, and promote and support each other’s diversity. This is exemplified, we believe, by the fact that the Commonwealth Day celebration in London is the UK’s largest multi-faith service.

The partnership offered by the commonwealth means that members aid each other’s growth and development, and work together to promote global agreements on issues such as trade, debt, gender equality and terrorism.

The Royal Commonwealth Society was founded in 1868, originally as a meeting place for gentlemen wishing to discuss colonial affairs. Over time, women were allowed to join, and the organisations purpose changed to more charitable/NGO work, with the ‘Royal Commonwealth Society’ as we know it forming in 1958.

Today, the RCS is a network of individuals and organisations who are dedicated to improving the lives of commonwealth citizens around the globe. The RCS want to bring the commonwealth into the modern age, while still staying at the centre of global decision making. The RCS often celebrate individual cultures diversity across social media channels and through events – check out their Twitter or Facebook to find any local celebrations!