Royal Commonwealth Society

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The Royal Commonwealth Society is a British organization which aims to promote an understanding of the nature and working of the Commonwealth of Nations.

It was founded in 1868 as the Colonial Society, later the Royal Colonial Society, to promote investigation and discussion on Colonial subjects generally, in the style of a learned society. Amongst its founding members were the future British Prime Minster Lord Salisbury, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, George Goschen, and Thomas Baring, the prominent banker. It was renamed the Royal Empire Society in 1928, to reflect the changing nature of the British overseas territories, before taking on its current title, in 1958. It was one of the organisations which co-founded the Magna Carta Trust

Its headquarters are at the Commonwealth Club, in Northumberland Avenue, London. Baroness Prashar is the Society's current chairman.



Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

The President

Chief Emeka Anyaoku TC GCVO CON

Vice Presidents

HH The Aga Khan, Mr David Alexander, Mr Colin Ball, Miss Margaret Brayton MBE, Mr Roger Davidson, Mr John Dove, Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser AC CH, Miss Myra Green OBE, Mr Derek Ingram OBE, Maj-Gen B J Legge, Lady Lewis, Dr Peter H Lyon OBE, Sir Peter Marshall KCMG CVO, Sir Michael McWilliam KCMG, Sir Michael Parsons, Dr K E Robinson CBE, Mrs Prunella Scarlet LVO, Mr Peter M Smith, Mrs J Tonkin MBE JP, Miss Susan Wilcox, Their Excellencies the Commonwealth High Commissioners in London, The Prime Minister, The Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, The Leader of the Opposition in the United Kingdom, The Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the United Kingdom, The Lt-Governor of Guernsey, The Lt-Governor of Jersey, The Bailiff of Guernsey, The Bailiff of Jersey, The President of the Australian National Council, The Chairman of the Canadian National Council.


The Royal Commonwealth Society's affairs are governed by an elected Council. The following constitute the Society's trustees:

Chairman: - Baroness Prashar CBE

Deputy Chairman: - Mr Richard Bourne OBE

Hon Treasurer: - Mr Michael Bostelmann

The Trustees

Branch Representatives

Mr William H M Ayers OBE (Bath & District), Mr William Kirkman (Cambridge), Dr Mary Turnbull(Oxford), Mr Keith Painter (Bristol)


Director-General - Stuart Mole OBE

PA to the Director-General- Adline Thornhill

Director of Finance - Paul Evans

Head of Public Affairs - Miles Giljam


  • Empire as the Triumph of Theory - Imperialism, information, and the Colonial Society of 1868 by Edward Beasley - Routledge, 2005 - ISBN 0-7146-5610-0

External links