The controversial Netflix series The Crown covers the tumultuous period from the Queen’s accession in 1952 to the present day, and so does this book, which explores the rise, decline and—to some—unexpected rebound of the historic UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand alliance. While a post-Brexit and post-Elizabethan Britain seeks a new role in today’s volatile world, its traditional partner countries also recognise the logic of reinvigorating their relationship, based on a multitude of still-strong cultural, economic, political, and military ties, including the monarchy as a uniquely shared global, and not merely British, institution.
But this wasn’t always the case. Although in the 1950s commentators spoke of a new "Elizabethan Age" with much postwar hope across the Commonwealth, that optimism quickly faded. By the 1970s, many thought Britain washed up and that Crown and Commonwealth ties and allegiance were becoming obsolete. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the four countries increasingly went their separate ways. So, a groggy time-traveller from that period appearing in London, Toronto, Sydney, or Auckland today would be taken by surprise by the durability of the Crown, even as it has passed to King Charles, and the growing reconvergence of the four "CANZUK" realms in terms of trade, defence, foreign policy coordination, freedom of movement, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, and other new or revived links.
This book evocatively tells the whole story of where we are, what’s possible for the future, and not least how we got here. In today’s age of global instability and raw power politics, this renewed Anglosphere Crown Commonwealth alliance is more important and relevant than ever.