Main content

Imperial Echo

Jonny Dymond looks at the Commonwealth’s origins in the British Empire, and its value in the modern world.

With the closing ceremonial of the 2018 London Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting barely over, BBC radio’s Royal Correspondent Jonny Dymond excavates the Commonwealth of Nation’s 19th century origins in the British Empire and its formal institution in 1949 as a post-colonial worldwide network of states ‘free and equal’ within the organisation.

Some have joked that the long shadow of its colonial origins has made it the ‘after-care service of Empire’. And with Her Majesty the Queen as its Head, the Commonwealth in the 1980s and 1990s became a powerful tool in the pursuit of majority rule in Zimbabwe and South Africa. But since then it has struggled to clearly define itself for the closely interconnected 21st century.

Jonny Dymond samples the colour and the conversation of the London summit, visits the institution’s palatial London home, Marlborough House, and talks to Secretary General Patricia Scotland about the Commonwealth’s value in the modern world.

(Photo: Prime Minister Theresa May chairs a meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) in London, 2018. Credit: Getty Images)

Available now

27 minutes

Last on

Thu 26 Apr 2018 01:32GMT

Broadcasts

Space

Space

Stargazing - from eclipses to the spacecraft changing our view of the Universe

Congo: A River Journey in binaural audio

Congo: A River Journey in binaural audio

Put your headphones on for an immersive journey along the mighty Congo River in the DRC

The Documentary Podcast

The Documentary Podcast

Every episode of The Documentary, on your mp3 player, to play wherever you are

The Compass

The Compass

The essential take on big ideas, issues and trends from the 21st century